There has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear.
After adjusting for inflation, spending under Obama is falling at a 1.4% annual pace — the first decline in real spending since the early 1970s. Obama has indeed presided over the slowest growth in spending of any president using raw dollars, and it was the second-slowest if you adjust for inflation.
(Of course, there are some who say this is exactly the wrong time to be slowing down spending…)
The main drivers of recent deficits are Bush administration policies: the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Bush tax cuts and the so-called “automatic stabilizers” — unemployment insurance spending, lower tax burdens — built into existing policy to combat economic downturns.
Recovery measures by Bush and Obama caused a short-term spike in deficits but have mostly phased out and thus represent only modest fractions of the national debt.
But expect the GOP to yell about the deficit anyway in the upcoming campaign:
…most voters don’t actually care about the deficit itself, or really understand what it is. But it’s a scary-sounding word that conjures thoughts of government bloat and reckless spending, which makes it an irresistible weapon for a recession-era opposition party.
And not just the deficit, but also spending and taxes are all lower today than when Obama took office.
Republicans say the United States is rapidly becoming an “entitlement society” in which there is a large class of Americans who prefer to depend on government benefits rather than work. A new CBPP analysis of budget and Census data, however, shows that more than 90 percent of the benefit dollars that entitlement and other mandatory programs spend go to assist people who are elderly, seriously disabled, or members of working households — not to able-bodied, working-age Americans who choose not to work.
And finally, the age gap, revealed: In a recent poll of Florida, Romney leads with landline respondents, 48%-45%. But Obama leads among cell phone respondents, 57%-34%.