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Ear to the Ground

Report: Under Obama, Taxes, Deficit and Spending All Down

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Posted on May 16, 2012
Pete Souza/The White House

Under President Obama, spending, taxes and the deficit have all decreased.

Despite what Republicans and the tea party would like to have Americans believe, taxes, spending and the deficit are all lower than when President Obama took office.

Think Progress:

In January 2009, before President Obama had even taken the oath of office, annual spending was set to total 24.9 percent of gross domestic product. Total spending this year, fiscal year 2012, is expected to top out at 23.4 percent of GDP.

Here’s another interesting fact. Taxes today are lower than they were on inauguration day 2009. Back in January 2009, the CBO projected that total federal tax revenue that year would amount to 16.5 percent of GDP. This year? 15.8 percent.

One last nugget. The deficit this year is going to be lower than what it was on the day President Obama took office. Back then, the CBO said the 2009 deficit would be 8.3 percent of GDP. This year’s deficit is expected to come in at 7.6 percent.

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Another notable figure: When President Bush came into office in 2001, he inherited a $281 billion federal budget surplus from the Clinton administration. By the time Obama took over eight years later, the deficit was $1.2 trillion. An interesting fact given that conservatives love to blame Democrats—and in particular Obama—for America’s current economic problems. —TEB

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By Gary, May 23, 2012 at 11:53 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Pete,

Like the Republicans AND Democrats do, facts and statistics can be made to “appear” better than they are. For example, you state the Bush administration “had a $281 billion dollar budget surplus” from the Clinton administration. LMAO….really? Well, when you look at the nifty little budget gimmick the government(BOTH parties) use(The unified cash basis budget), yes there was a surplus, but in reality the Clinton administration had a $750 - $800 BILLION dollar deficit! How? Well they borrowed funds from the Social Security fund to make the numbers look better than they were! AND, since when does ANY budget DEFICIT appear good when it is increased annually by 3-5% automatically? That’s why we need CUT, CAP, and BALANCE our federal budget at pre-1990 levels!!! Here’s the simplistic way to look at what Clinton did…..they “borrowed” from Social Security, a “liability”...then they used the “borrowed” money as an “asset” on the books. Neat huh? Read the book “Broke” by Glenn Beck, page 105 to see how the government “massages” the numbers. Sort of like this Obama administration is “massaging” the unemployment numbers so they don’t look as bad as they really are! All we can do is educate ourselves fron the “lies” being told by government every day!

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By Payday Loan Agency, May 22, 2012 at 11:56 pm Link to this comment

Well, when it comes to taxes paid, compared with that 38% of taxes paid by the top 1% of earners, the bottom 50% pay just 2.7% of the taxes collected. Now, consider the concept behind the Laffer Curve: As you approach 100% taxes on higher incomes, incomes will drop and tax revenues will DECREASE. How much would you work if 100% went to taxes. How about 95%? 90%? 80%? etc.? How much would you send offshore? When Reagan entered office, the top 1% of earners, then at a higher tax rate only contributed about 20% of taxes collected. Today, that figure is 38% even though the rates are lower… Surely you can figure out the implications.

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By pundaint, May 17, 2012 at 9:26 pm Link to this comment

Since there’s no Democrat in the contest, I’ll be voting for Jill Stein in November.

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By Marian Griffith, May 17, 2012 at 2:11 am Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

This may all be true, but the people who are going to vote for Romney, nor the people who are going to vote against Obama, are going to be swayed by facts. They are likely going to reject facts when they do not suit their world view.

Mind, the same is true for the people who are going to vote for Obama or against Romney.

For a long time now neither facts nor reality has placed any meaningful role in how people react socially or politically. And I am inclined to think it does not play any role in their economic decisions either. Which kind of kicks the foundation out from underneath Friedman and his supply side school of economics (most economic theories really) which is based on the presumption that people do what is best for them rationally. The truth seems to be that not even at their best people are rational (and the worst are batshit crazy). But of course that is another little fact that gets rejected because it does not fit with how certain people want the world to be and it is far easier to reject the facts and reality than to change your perception of the world.

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By kimsarah, May 17, 2012 at 1:17 am Link to this comment

“... taxes, spending and the deficit are all lower than when President Obama took office.”

Congratulations! More proof that the Big O is the best Republican that Republicans could ever hope to have in the White House.

Unfortunately, those three items (taxing, spending and the deficit) are (non) major reasons that many of us voted for him in the first place.

But who wants to talk about rising Wall Street thievery, more war, drones and non-closing of Guantanamo, promoting more oil and gas drilling, promising to build new (taxpayer-backed) nuclear power plants, more spying on private citizens and invasion of privacy, sponsoring NDAA’s detention of suspected (Occupiers) home-grown terrorists, and so on.

Heck, no one on the Republican side could come close to him. Maybe if he advocated for guns being allowed at the Democratic National Convention, campaigned for Scott Walker and supported legislation overturning Roe v. Wade, the (color-blind) tea baggers might even like him too.

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By gerard, May 16, 2012 at 4:52 pm Link to this comment

Now who’s gonna be mean enough to bring up America’s national self-esteem?

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By robert harrington, May 16, 2012 at 4:51 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

hope his organization does a better job of getting this out to the public.
practically no one was aware of his first tax cuts

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By doublestandards/glasshouses, May 16, 2012 at 4:07 pm Link to this comment
(Unregistered commenter)

Chris Hedges, Noam Chomsky, and others won the first
round in their case against Obama and the NDAA.  Glenn
Greenwald is already reporting it.  You’re a little
late.

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