I wrote yesterday about President George W. Bush being the biggest spending president since President Lyndon Johnson. I based this on information from the Cato Institute’s recent paper, The Grand Old Spending Party: How Republicans Became Big Spenders.
The paper compares Bush with prior presidents, slicing the data from different directions to see whether military spending, unemployment, entitlements, etc., are the cause of Bush’s exorbitant spending. Here’s a telling graph:
Bush shares another characteristic with Johnson (and Carter): they increased both national defense and non-defense spending. Other presidents decreased one or the other. What’s striking is the steepness of increase for both spending categories under Bush.
Instead of “let them eat cake” Bush is attempting to have his cake and eat it, too.
Source: Office of Management and Budget, Historical Tables. Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2006, Table 8.2, p. 126.