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Beltway Confidential

Think Obama's budget is bad? Bush was a bigger spender

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Photo - Federal spending increased more quickly under Republican President George W. Bush than it has thus far under Democratic President Barack Obama, according to data compiled by Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute.
Federal spending increased more quickly under Republican President George W. Bush than it has thus far under Democratic President Barack Obama, according to data compiled by Chris Edwards of the Cato Institute.
Beltway Confidential,Mark Tapscott

President Obama's two-month-late federal budget proposal is drawing substantial criticism from Republicans in Congress and elsewhere, but Chris Edwards, the Cato Institute's budget-numbers master, offers a timely reminder - President George W. Bush was a bigger spender.

Edwards points to the fact that the average annual spending increase under Bush was 7 percent, compared to 4 percent under Obama, then makes the essential point:

"Partisan Republicans are probably tired of fiscal conservatives and libertarians complaining about Bush's big spending, especially when Obama has done so much damage to limited government.

"But Republicans are fooling themselves if they think that the overspending problem has been confined just to the other party.

"The sooner people understand that overspending is a deep and chronic disease with bipartisan roots, the sooner we can start finding a lasting cure."

This is not merely a "plague-on-both-your-houses" dismissal, but a clear statement of the fact - Washington Spending Disease is a terminal condition displayed by both major political parties in Congress and the White House.

The accompanying Edwards chart showing the annual spending increases during the Bush-Obama years might be the spark that re-lights the Tea Party movement.

Go here for the Edwards post.

Mark Tapscott is executive editor of The Washington Examiner.

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