Barack Obama: The Spending King
May 24, 2012
RUSH: I had that story yesterday. In fact, I saw that stupid story yesterday and I sent it to everybody I know. And I said, "We're gonna have to deal with this. This has come out of left field. It's come out of the blue. We're gonna have to deal with this." And then I didn't get to it yesterday. I put it so far down in the Stack. It's this story about how Obama's not really spending all that much money. Obama's probably the most fiscally responsible president we've had in 25 or 30 administrations. I mean, that's the story. Some guy named Nutting at MarketWatch. I thought MarketWatch used to be CBS. Now it's Wall Street Journal. This guy Nutting goes back and forth. He's got this big story out there that it's a myth that Obama's a big spender.
The way he does it is to say that all the spending in 2009, which would include the stimulus, was Bush's because the budget for 2009 was Bush's, done in September of 2008. So Obama's first year is actually Bush's last budget. But Bush didn't budget the Porkulus. Bush didn't budget the second Porkulus. It's a trillion dollars of spending that this guy Nutting lops on to Bush and doesn't give to Obama. But that doesn't even cover what's going on here. I sent it around to everybody, I said, "You better look out for this." And what's happened now, Obama has taken the bait on this. Obama's running around like everybody else knowing full well that he's the spending king. Everybody knows it. This was a really lame attempt. But when I sent this story around to my buddies and my friends and everybody, I said, "Look, this is gonna get picked up today by the Drive-Bys, and it's going to be the narrative from now to who knows when."
All it takes is just this one story, this one assertion, this one opinion piece from this guy. Lo and behold, by the middle of the afternoon yesterday, after the program was over, you had the spokeskid, Jay Carney, citing the piece, and Obama citing the piece, and I think it's kind of hilarious. It's almost like Obama has taken the bait now. Not that this guy intended to bait Obama. I think the story ends up being the bait 'cause it isn't true. But here's Obama, three-and-a-half years knowing full well how much he's spending because he intends to. It's part of his plan. His spending is directly tied and correlated to the shrinkage of the private sector, which he also intends.
This statistic doesn't lie. Obama has added more to the national debt in three-and-a-half years than all the previous presidents combined. His deficits are more than all the previous presidents combined. How do you do that if you're not a record setting spender? So Obama and Carney, everybody in the regime, they know full well that they're the spending kings. And all of a sudden the story comes out and they point to it like first graders who have just been exonerated for not breaking the window. "See? He did it! He did it! I didn't do it. He did it." And so now they're out there defending this thing, and it can be easily refuted honestly and truthfully, which the Drive-Bys are not gonna do. The Drive-Bys are gonna pick it up and run with it.
And in so doing -- see, this, I think, is the unintended positive consequence for us, the good guys. In picking this thing up and running with it, they are admitting that big spending is a huge problem. In pointing to this piece, "Hey, it isn't me, it isn't me," they are admitting, they are accepting the premise, if you will, the Tea Party premise, our premise, that Obama's spending is reckless, that it's dangerous, that it is destroying the future of your kids and grandkids. That's why the Tea Party exists. People know that this is happening. They know they've never seen spending like this. They know they've never seen indebtedness racked up this fast. They know it instinctively. That's why the Tea Party came into existence.
So now our premise that Obama is a huge spender has been accepted, and they are now trying to defend against it. So there is a huge opportunity. You know me. I always try to find the positive in everything. There's plenty in this to be ticked off about 'cause the story, as I say, if you take a look at budgets and spending and then attach all the spending in 2009 to George W. Bush -- by the way, not all the TARP money was spent. The TARP money was allocated by Bush, but a lot of the TARP money was discretionary, and Obama, I think, what's the number, $300 billion of the $700 billion was authorized by Obama, not Bush. So just off the top of my head here, you've got $780 billion, whatever it was, for the Porkulus; you have $140 billion for Porkulus 2; so 780, 140, we're at 920. We're over a trillion dollars of spending that this guy, Nutting, chalks up to George W. Bush and not Obama.
I haven't read everything about this, but there's another aspect to all this, and that is what happens to the baseline when you add a trillion dollars to the federal budget. So Bush authorizes, and Congress, they authorize the budget, fiscal year starts October 1st, so the budget for 2009 starts actually October 1st, 2008. Actually before the election, the new budget kicks in. And the baseline at that time is based on the 2009 fiscal year budget starting in 2008. Well, then Obama comes along and essentially adds a trillion dollars, folks, above and beyond what Bush already budgeted, Bush and the Congress. I know Congress does the official, final budget, but for the purposes of this guy's trying to blame Bush for all this, I'll use Bush in my terminology.
You add over a trillion dollars in new spending that's not in the budget, the Porkulus, Porkulus 2 of $140 billion, what happens to the baseline? The baseline is increased, and by that every budget thereafter -- and we haven't really had one because of all the continuing resolutions. Democrats have not proposed a budget in the Senate or the House for three years. Obama's budgets have all gone down to embarrassing defeat. I think every Obama budget's gone down with not one vote in favor. But nevertheless the baseline, had there been a budget, and the baseline does come into play with a continuing resolution.
The baseline is increased by a trillion dollars, and so the increase in budgeted spending is automatically ratcheted up by a trillion dollars anyway. And then the increase in spending becomes geometric in its progressions because of the random trillion dollars of Obama spending added to the budget, bammo, the budget baseline skyrockets, and so every budget item gets a proportionate increase larger than it already had in the Bush budget that went into effect in October of 2009.
Then USA Today has a story today. Drudge just made it his lede. "The typical American household would have paid nearly all of its income in taxes last year to balance the budget if the government used standard accounting rules to compute the deficit, a USA Today analysis finds. Under those accounting practices, the government ran red ink last year equal to $42,054 per household -- nearly four times the official number reported under unique rules set by Congress.
"A US household's median income is $49,445, the Census reports. The big difference between the official deficit and standard accounting: Congress exempts itself from including the cost of promised retirement benefits," meaning they don't have to count -- hee-hee-hee -- Soc. Security. (interruption) No. Didn't you know that? Social Security has always been "off budget," and they've been able to take money from there. That's why they've been able take money from Social Security and lop it onto the budget to reduce the deficit.
That's what this story is all about.
The real deficit, if you count Social Security that we don't have, is $5 trillion. And this story comes out the very day after this Nutting guy writes his story that Obama's spending is not large at all. In fact, this Nutting guy says that Obama's the most responsible president spending-wise that we've had since Eisenhower! Well, that's the premise of the story. He says the number one, biggest spender in the modern era is Reagan.
No, I kid you not.
That's what the story was. That's what I was sending around yesterday and, like a fool, I didn't get to it on my own program. The federal government calculates the deficit in a way that makes the number smaller than if standard accounting rules were followed. And we're talking "smaller" in trillions. But the interesting point of this story is if you confiscate all income of the typical American household, you would balance the budget for one year.
Now, put this in perspective. The median family income is 49 grand. Under the proper accounting practices... Well, forget the accounting practices. The real deficit of $5 trillion, if every household would just send all of its income to Washington... Every household. Not just the rich. Every household based on this median number of 49,000, you send every dollar every household earns to Washington and you balance the budget for one year.
Just one year.
You would not reduce the national debt.
You would just balance the budget for one year if you confiscate everybody's income. And when you do that... It's important to add this. If that were ever to become a policy -- which it wouldn't, but if it were to become a policy that every dollar you earn goes to Washington -- nobody would continue to work. There would be no point. You would end up with nothing. No, it's not impossible to have fiscal sanity. What's required is to get on the right path.
The right path is what provides confidence to everybody that proper policies are in effect, that debt is being reduced and that there is some sense of responsibility that is being invested in, followed. Now, here's the thing about the Nutting story. I did due diligence. Not only did I do due diligence, I diligently did due diligence. I diligently did some show prep. And I found out where Nutting got his data. Nancy Pelosi, a year ago, put out a chart, and Nutting is simply parroting a chart that Pelosi put out in May of last year.
And what Pelosi did to show that Obama's spending was not nearly, nearly what everybody says it is, was to make sure that all of 2009 spending was lopped into the Bush category because of the budget done in 2008 that starts October 1st of 2008 for the year 2009. So while Obama was spending his trillion-dollar Porkulus bills (both of them, one and two), Pelosi puts out a chart that lops that spending into Bush's budget.
And when you do that, then you're able to claim that Obama didn't spend anything in 2009. It was all Bush's! The game you're playing is that everything spent in 2009 is actually in the 2008 budget, Bush's last one. Well, Bush didn't authorize the Porkulus bill. He didn't authorize all of the TARP spending. So Nutting (Rex Nutting is his name) and Pelosi are doing the same trick. They're cutting off the first year of Obama's spending. They're not allocating any of the spending in 2009 to Obama.
It's all being added in the Bush column. Now, Pelosi, who knows? She didn't do the chart. Some staffer did the chart and they're all little activists in there on the left side. And Pelosi might have done it accidentally. Who knows? I don't think it's accidental. It's possible. Now, Porkulus 2, the $140 billion, that happened after October 2009. So that would technically be thrown in -- if there had been a budget, that would be thrown in -- the budget for 2010, but that's still Obama's.
And that $140 billion Stimulus 2 is added to Bush by Pelosi, which Nutting then picked up.
RUSH: I just got a note reminding me that Bush did not even sign the 2009 budget. Bush didn't sign the 2009 budget, and the Democrats held it over for Obama to sign. And then Obama refused a photo-op because it was filled with earmarks. The 2009 budget had a lot of earmarks in it. Bush didn't sign it, Obama didn't sign it, but it still was there. Here's the tally. I've made an error. The $140 billion Stimulus 2, they are -- the Nutting guy at MarketWatch is -- calculating as Obama spending.
So in fiscal year 2009, this is the tally of the big stuff. This does not, by the way, include any of the Obamacare spending. We created a new entitlement, for crying out loud, and none of that is factored into any of this. Anyway, in fiscal year 2009, Obama spent $825 billion on his first stimulus, the Porkulus bill. He spent $200 billion on a second and unnecessary round of TARP spending, bailout spending. Now, remember: The grand total of TARP, I believe, was $700 billion. Bush did not spend it all.
Some of it was discretionary. And if you remember, that's even a little insulting because remember the circumstances surrounding TARP. It was an immediate crisis. "If you don't sign this in 24 hours, the entire world financial system collapses! We don't have a choice." And Paulson was bringing all the bankers in and making them sign documents accepting bailouts or $25 billion or $50 billion, whatever it was. There was all of this crisis, and McCain suspends the campaign to come back and deal with it.
We need to do it NOW. "It's an immediate crisis! The subprime and everything's coming to a head. We've gotta do it! If we don't do it now, we don't stand a prayer." Of course Republicans didn't vote for it the first time around, and the world financial system didn't collapse. But they kept it going. It ended at $700 billion. But not all of it was discretionary. Even though we had this dire, worldwide emergency, not all of it was mandatory: Two hundred or 300 billion of it was discretionary. Obama spent 200 of the TARP, $200 billion, and then $40 billion on a new child health care bill.
The total: $1.065 trillion Obama spending.
RUSH: Okay, here's the deal. Cut to the chase on this. In fiscal year 2009, Barack Obama spent a total of $1.065 trillion that Nutting at MarketWatch and Pelosi produced charts saying that Bush spent. Bush didn't spend it. Bush didn't spend the stimulus bill. He didn't authorize it, ask for it. It was not even in his mind, but because it happened in 2009, it was lopped on to the 2009 budget that Bush did not sign, as it turns out. So they assign this to Bush-era spending. They're saying that Obama spending cannot be calculated until October of 2009, when the new fiscal year starts. No spending before that could possibly be Obama's, that's what they're saying, and of course they're not right about it.
Here are the totals: $825 billion on his first stimulus; $200 billion on a second round of TARP spending. More on that just a second. Forty billion spent on a new child health care bill, S-CHIP. Now, there's other incremental, incidental spending that Obama was doing left and right, throwing money all over the place. Solyndra was getting money, if you recall, all this green energy were getting so-called low-interest loans. Obama was printing money, borrowing it, throwing it around as fast as he could. But those are the big-ticket items: $825 billion for Porkulus; $200 billion additional TARP spending; $40 billion S-CHIP. Grand total, $1.065 trillion that Obama spent that these people are counting as Bush money.
Now, the really deceitful thing that Mr. Nutting and the others are doing is saying that they are counting Obama's stimulus in their tally of his spending. In the text of the story they say they're counting the stimulus. And, they are. They are counting Porkulus 2, $140 billion, which happened after October in 2009. They're not counting the $825 billion big-ticket Porkulus. So in the text of the story, they claim they're counting the stimulus, and it's really deceitful, because what they're counting is Porkulus 2, which is $140 billion. So casual readers of the Nutting story -- it's a Web story at MarketWatch -- casual readers think, "Oh, wow, even with Obama's stimulus he still spent less than Reagan and Bush?" But again, they're only counting that $140 billion second stimulus. They're not counting the first $825 billion stimulus.
Now, more on this TARP business. What actually happened there was, Obama as president-elect before the immaculation, as president-elect, Obama told Bush, or asked, depending on how you want to remember it, told Bush to release the rest of the discretionary TARP money so that Obama could use it for economic recovery as soon as he took office. And Bush did. Bush expanded the discretionary amount of TARP, and that was around $200 billion or 300 billion. So you can add $200 billion to this, and you're just under $1.1 trillion of Obama spending that's not counted as Obama spending. Now, specifically that second round of TARP that Obama asked for as president-elect, not inaugurated yet, was for the auto bailout to buy General Motors and Chrysler and give them to the unions. And that was $200 billion.
So I wanted to arm you with the facts.
RUSH: Back to this budget business. There is a reason that the Democrats have not offered a budget in three years. And this is an excellent time, with this bogus report from Rex Nutting and the media picking this up, to point this out. The Democrats have refused to offer a new budget ever since 2009, because they want to lock all of Obama's spending into the budget and into the baseline.
You cannot cut spending with continuing resolutions.
Continuing resolutions keep spending levels at the same level. That is why the debt ceiling deals are so big. It's why there's a debt ceiling fight every time. You don't cut spending in a continuing resolution. You might have the precedence of cutting spending, or claiming that any new spending will be offset by cuts, but you don't have any cuts, any real cuts. You don't have them. Continuing resolutions keep current funding levels at the same level.
And by the way, the spending levels, that is another aspect of this Nutting piece that is not discussed. You can talk about the rate of spending. But the level of spending, nobody's even close to Obama on this. So the debt ceiling deal is huge. It's the only way the GOP can even try to cut spending since they can't cut the official budget, and the reason the Democrats have not done a budget is so they can lock in all of Obama's spending.
This is such a deceitful story. It is an intricately woven web of deceit, this idea that Obama's spending is less than Reagan, less than George W. Bush, less than George H. W. Bush, which is what the story claims. You have people who have believed the truth about Obama's spending now scratching their heads, "Wait, did we get this wrong?" 'Cause it's in print. It was at MarketWatch, and MarketWatch has some credibility with people. "Have we been wrong?"
No, you have not been wrong. Spending levels. That level is what every new dollar is added to. If you're already $16 trillion in debt (that's the level), and your rate of spending is big or small, you're still adding to the debt. Which is the bottom line. And now if Obama and the White House, the Democrats try to use this story to say that they are budget cutters, that they're responsible spenders? If they want to try to make the case that the stimulus bill is George W. Bush's, then shouldn't George W. Bush get all the credit for the stimulus that Obama and Biden are claiming for it?
Bush only gets the blame for the spending but not the credit for the supposed economic recovery Obama and Biden keep talking about. But if all those jobs and all this new economic growth and all this recovery and the end of the recession are happening thanks to the spending: Why, isn't that Bush's achievement? If the Porkulus bill actually is Bush's, doesn't Bush deserve all this credit? I'm telling you, they have fallen for a trap here without even knowing that one was set, if this is played right. And I know we on this program will play it right. I don't have any doubt about that.