A Really Misleading Look At Federal Spending

This chart from finance professor Mark Perry is getting some attention, as it shows government spending “skyrocketing” (Perry’s word) as a share of GDP under the Obama administration.

It certainly looks like a remarkable surge, until you look at the Y axis. Yes, spending is higher under Obama than it was under Bush II, but a difference of 25% of GDP vs. 22% of GDP is just not that dramatic. It’s certainly not anything that looks like “skyrocketing.”

And the decline under the Obama plan, to just 20% of GDP, certainly doesn’t look like such a radical change.

debt

Photo: Mark Perry

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