On tonight’s FBN show, I gave Karl Rove a hard time about his defending his former boss’ record as a fiscal conservative. I showed the chart below, which shows that Bush boosted spending by 54% during his 8 years in office, thanks mostly to a record $3.5 Trillion in spending in 2009.
Rove took exception to that. He always does. He’s very good at defending his former boss when he’s accused of being another “big spender Republican”. On my show, Rove spewed out dates and numbers faster than I could follow. The bottom line: Rove said we only got 54% because we counted the 2009 Budget against Bush’s record, and Obama was in office in 2009. That’s true, but … it IS one of Bush’s budgets. Look, that’s his name right there.
When Bush first submitted this budget in early 2008, he proposed a “mere” $3.1 Trillion in spending. But after the financial panic, he signed the TARP bailout and Fannie & Freddie bailout, adding $420 Billion to the 2009 Budget. Before Obama even set foot in office, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that Bush’s 2009 budget would spend $3.5 Trillion and create a $1.2 trillion deficit.
Rove also argued that some of the record $3.5 Trillion spent in 2009 was Obama’s responsibility. And he’s right, because Bush did not pass the Stimulus, or Cash for Clunkers, or the Omnibus spending bill. But how much of that accounts for the $3.5 Trillion total in 2009? Cato’s Dan Mitchell offers an estimate:
these boondoggles amounted to just a tiny percentage of FY2009 spending — about $140 billion out of a $3.5 trillion budget.
Bush, a Republican President, was responsible for a 54% increase in the size of government.
Karl, couldn’t you have gotten him to veto something?