“As soon as I took office, I asked this Congress to send me a recovery plan by President’s Day… Not because I believe in bigger government – I don’t. Not because I’m not mindful of the massive debt we’ve inherited – I am.”
–President Obama to congressional joint session, February 24
President Obama said some encouraging words about federal spending in his first major speech as president, but the budget released by his administration today reveals a substantial disconnect between his rhetoric and his policy.
Americans have a fundamental choice to make in coming months: Do they want President Obama and Congress to impose huge increases in the size of government, perhaps as dramatic as occurred in the 1930s and 1960s?
Apart from defense, federal spending has hovered around 16.5 percent of the economy since 1980, through both Democratic and Republican administrations. But under President Obama, nondefense spending is soaring to 23 percent of the economy this year and will remain at historic high levels in the future.
Even after current stimulus spending is supposed to end, nondefense spending is expected to be more than 19 percent of the economy – or 25 percent more than the size of government during the later Clinton years.
Americans need to decide whether they want the European-sized government that President Obama is promising – with all its damaging effects on individual freedom and economic growth – or whether they want to return to the greater prosperity of the smaller-government Clinton years.