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Soflasnapper
05-26-2012, 03:02 PM
This is a discussion of the most recent AP look at the controversy.

<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Quote:</div><div class="ubbcode-body">The AP now weighs in, ultimately relying on McCain economics adviser Douglas Holtz-Eakin as a neutral arbiter. But it's another helpful run-through of the numbers. The first question, as I noted in my first post on the subject, is how to apportion the 2009 fiscal budget. The second is how to treat TARP. If you assign much of TARP and the 2009 budget to Bush, the subsequent rate of growth of spending does indeed look remarkably tight-fisted. Equally, assigning all of that to Obama, when he took office well into the fiscal year, alters things dramatically. Yes, he signed funding bills in 2009, but the cake was well-baked by then. But the AP assigns "much" of the spending in 2009, including the stabilizers, to Obama alone. They also refuse to give Obama any credit for the payback of TARP in 2010 or the decline in support for Freddie and Fannie.

The AP takes the hardest position on Obama and comes up with the following bottom line:

All told, government spending now appears to be growing at an annual rate of roughly 3 percent over the 2010-2013 period, rather than the 0.4 percent claimed by Obama and the MarketWatch analysis.

I think that's excessively tilted against the president. But even so, lets accept it for the sake of argument. A 3 percent annualized increase in federal spending would still put Obama in first place for spending restraint since LBJ - which is staggering given the scale of the economic collapse he inherited. A quick comparison? Bush's first term - with no global great recession - saw spending grow an annualized 7.3 percent. Reagan's first term? 8.7 percent.

And again, remember the Romney claim that started this all off: that "since President Obama assumed office three years ago, federal spending has accelerated at a pace without precedent in recent history."

Even when you put the maximal blame on Obama for spending in the last three years, including all the automatic spending that came with the collapse of 2008, that's still untrue. And it's odd that the GOP insists it isn't. Shouldn't they be claiming some credit for restraining spending from 2010 onwards? </div></div>

Sure they could, and maybe should, but it ruins their narrative about Obama's huge newly increased spending.

Link to the AP piece this is based on. (http://news.yahoo.com/fact-check-obama-off-thrifty-spending-claim-231221900.html;_ylt=A2KJ3CbkUcBPaDsADQ7QtDMD)

Some thoughts on their methodology.

It's true that Obama early on in the 2009 calendar year signed a bunch of appropriations bills (for FY 2009, already well under way), but as Sullivan mentions, those figures were baked into the cake by then. It was a measure of how disputed and difficult it was to get them out of Congress that they weren't signed until 6 months or so into the fiscal year, and it was wholly impractical to try to renegotiate most or any of them after the heated compromising had given those results, and after all, the NEXT fiscal year's budget was looming. That was old, finished business, containing the 4,000 or whatever earmarks that were required to get the disputing parties to sign onto the numbers, per normal Congressional practice. Obama got a lot of heat from that, because he had said he would eliminate the practice, and did not do so for those 2009 funding bills. But the earmarks were how the deal got done.

As for the TARP repayment, that should be credited to Obama in my view, since that was done under his threat that he would seek to impose compensation limits on the CEOs and other senior officials of those financial institutions if they continued to be beholden to the government for such large sums. They didn't want that, and so got out from under that threat by repayment.

Note also, an apparent typo, that $140 million of the stimulus was booked into 2009. Certainly, that should have read $140 billion. People neglect to consider that of the $800 billion plus in stimulus, that was a 3-year figure, with each annual tranche only spent in a given fiscal year.

Sev
05-26-2012, 03:36 PM
They raised the baseline and attributed all the previous fiscal years stimulus and spending to Bush since it happened in the last fiscal year of the Bush administration.
So I guess that means Bush gets all the credit for the recovery created by the stimulus spending right?

Unfortunately there has not been a budget for 3 years.
So nothing has been factored in except raising the debt ceiling and continuing resolutions.
Its good play for avoiding responsibility.

cushioncrawler
05-26-2012, 05:20 PM
Mac's policy.
Dont hav just one typo -- hav an unlimited number of typos.
Better still, hav zero typos -- ie dont hav any typing. Just hav full employment.
mac.

Sev
05-27-2012, 06:27 AM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Mac's policy.
Dont hav just one typo -- hav an unlimited number of typos.
Better still, hav zero typos -- ie dont hav any typing. Just hav full employment.
mac. </div></div>

Or just have everybody paid by the government with zero employment.

Soflasnapper
05-27-2012, 01:34 PM
They raised the baseline and attributed all the previous fiscal years stimulus and spending to Bush since it happened in the last fiscal year of the Bush administration.
So I guess that means Bush gets all the credit for the recovery created by the stimulus spending right?

Let's be clear. Although budget authority for TARP went up to $750 billion or so, the actual amount spent was half that figure, and just the half that was spent was booked as Bush's responsibility. (The difference between budget authority and actual appropriations escapes many who discuss these things-- only spent appropriation numbers show up in the federal government budget statement.)

As might be remembered as it wasn't long ago, THAT DIDN'T WORK TO STIMULATE JACK SH!T. The banks did not take the money and then begin re-lending it out. They used it to try to paper over their own insolvent balance sheets, found few that met their newly elevated credit standards, and also worried about the safety of any of their money going through other banks they knew were in the same execrable financial position as they were. They parlayed an arbitrage of their essentially zero interest rate money from the TARP program into earning risk-free money by purchasing Treasuries, and kept those profits to again try to hide their balance sheet problems. So no. Or yes, if there had been any recovery from it, he'd deserve the credit, but it turned out it didn't work, and actually, no toxic assets were bought from the banks as the program was actually designed or promoted as doing.

Just look at the inflection point for the job losses' diminishment start. Or the turn from falling-off-the-cliff gdp losses to over 3% gain. It coincided with the passage of the Obama stimulus. As there was no other plausible cause, and the TARP passage continued to see ever larger job losses until the passage of the stimulus, there's your prima facie case right there.