At the Associated Press aka the Administration’s Press on Saturday, Andrew Taylor’s “Fact Check” item on President Obama’s stump speech claim in Iowa on Thursday dove into the trees without first looking at the forest.
Distracted by ridiculousaurus Rex Nutting’s write-up earlier in the week at MarketWatch (“Obama spending binge never happened”), which absurdly claimed that “government outlays (are) rising at slowest pace since 1950s,” Taylor spent paragraph after paragraph going into the nuances of “the Wall Street bailout” (really TARP, which wasn’t all about “Wall Street,” unless GM and Chrysler have recently moved there) and the disputes over who should be responsible for various items of and increases in spending the fiscal 2009. He either didn’t understand — or didn’t want to communicate that he really did understand — exactly what President Obama said, which follows the jump:
But what my opponent didn’t tell you was that federal spending since I took office has risen at the slowest pace of any President in almost 60 years.
By changing the argument to one about spending “since I took office,” Obama is no longer, as Taylor incorrectly wrote, “rest(ing) his claim on an analysis by MarketWatch.” He is now claiming that spending growth during his administration has risen “at the slowest pace of any President in almost 60 years” since January 20, 2009. Other than the necessary discrediting of Nutting’s work, which at this point is done (James Pethokoukis, Heritage, Dan Mitchell, yours truly, and many more), a tedious discussion of George W. Bush’s vs. Obama’s responsibility for spending which occurred after Bush left office is no longer required.
All one needs to see is this table, followed by a comparison to the first four years of George W. Bush’s administration to the last four years of Bill Clinton’s: