Obama Uses Shrink In State, Local Payrolls To Claim He’s A “Small Government” President
According to Barack Obama, he’s more of a small-government President than Ronald Reagan, not to mention both the elder and junior Bush presidents. But the metric he’s using to reach that conclusion is misleading.
“After there was a recession under Ronald Reagan, government employment went way up,” Obama said at a college in Albany, N.Y. “It went up after the recessions under the first George Bush and the second George Bush. So each time there was a recession with a Republican president, compensated — we compensated by making sure that government didn’t see a drastic reduction in employment.”
“The only time government employment has gone down during a recession has been under me,” he continued. “So I make that point just so you don’t buy into this whole bloated government argument that you hear.”
I don’t know what measure of government employment Obama is using. If he’s just talking about federal employment it has actually increased during his term in office. According to CNN, he number of federal employees grew by 123,000, or 6.2%, under President Obama, according to the White House’s Office of Management and Budget.”
So I guess Obama is talking about state and local employees which again according to CNN “have shed 635,000 positions,” but it’s a bit ludicrous for the President to take credit for reductions in state and local government. Unless he thinks he’s king of the entire country – not outside of the realm of possibility, I’ll admit – it should be the governors and legislators and local elected officials who get credit for those reductions.
But government payrolls aren’t the right metric for measuring the size of government. The only measure of the size of government that matters is spending, and Obama is the all-time record holder in that regard.
The national debt has increased more under less than one term of Obama – over $4 trillion – than it did under eight years of George W. Bush, and before Obama came along Bush was worse on the debt than any other president in history.
Obama is not a limited government President. George W. Bush was terrible on spending, and his father was only slightly better. Reagan, while not exactly the limited government saint he’s been made out to be, was a paragon of fiscal virtue compared to today’s Republicans. But Obama, since coming into office, has tromped on the spending gas pedal and has yet to let up.Tags: Barack Obama, deficits, national debt