I got involved in a bit of a controversy last year about presidential profligacy.
Some guy named Rex Nutting put together some data on government spending and claimed that Barack Obama was the most frugal President in recent history.
I pointed out that Mr. Nutting’s data left something to be desired because he didn’t adjust the numbers for inflation.
Moreover, most analysts also would remove interest spending from the calculations since Presidents presumably shouldn’t be held responsible for servicing the debt incurred by their predecessors.
When you look at the adjusted numbers, though, Reagan does a lot better, ranking a close second to Obama.
I also included Carter, Nixon, and LBJ in my calculations, though it’s worth noting that none of them got a good score. Indeed, President Johnson even scored below President George W. Bush.
Most of the Obamacare spending doesn’t begin until 2014, so that wasn’t a big factor. And I did include the faux stimulus. Indeed, I even adjusted the FY2009 and FY2010 numbers so that all of stimulus spending that took place in Bush’s last fiscal year was credited to Obama.
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