On Meet The Press this morning, host David Gregory began a segment with Obama political guy David Axelrod, challenging him on the seemingly “small bore” nature of the State Of The Union proposals, while asking him why it was that Obama refuses to get serious about deficits, and the sacrifices that the American people will have to make in the coming years.
Instead, said Gregory, Obama has only offered up stimulus programs, and expansions to entitlements.
Axelrod responded that Obama was willing to strike a “grand bargain,” and that he’s offered up trillions in potential savings, and that it was only a matter of how all these cuts were distributed.
But the whole exchange highlighted the problem: The premise of the question is accepted by everyone. That premise is that Obama has been a wild spender, and that now there’s an urgent need to make cuts.
As we highlighted yesterday, there’s simply nothing special about the growth of government spending under Obama. Here’s a look at annual real growth in government spending going back to 1947.
While that chart should get people’s attentions, the real chart that Obama needs to point to is this one posted by The NYT’s David Leonhardt.
[credit provider=”The New York Times” url=”http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/01/27/the-role-of-austerity/?src=recg”]
The hero of this recovery has been the private sector, while government has been a drag for sometime now.
This chart is so opposite to what people think. The average person on the street well-connected insider has accepted the basic outline that the government has grown like crazy under Obama, and that the private sector has been cowering in fear of government deficits and regulations, and that there’s all this money waiting to be unleashed if only the government would get out of the way.
It’s pure fiction, and the inability of The White House to tell this story is a big problem.