Stuff FOX ignores

From TPM this week, some fascinating charts measuring things we don’t usually correlate – the total federal spending authorized by the Congress during the first terms of Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama. The data are from the Bureau of Labor Statistics compiled from 1982 through 2011 (and projected for 2012). These are based on  real-time numbers – except for 2012 – and not the ten-year projections we’re used to hearing about.

Recently, Republican presidents have benefited from accommodating Congress during times of economic weakness, while Democratic Presidents Clinton and Obama watched Congress suddenly grow stingy under their watch.

26 responses to “Stuff FOX ignores

  1. Love TPM, just love the website.


    • Elyse, I started reading Josh when he was just one guy – a graduate student working on his PhD in US Colonial History(!). Perhaps he thought he’d be teaching eventually. A few years in, he began envisioning TPM and wanted to hire his first staffer and asked his readers for some help. That was the only time I sent a blogger some money, I think it was just $25. I got a nice thank you and to this day I am so proud to have been a ‘founding’ member. Best $25 I ever spent.


  2. Ms. Holland,

    I can’t prove anything yet but my gut tells me these charts under Obama are really full of it. To say that Congress suddenly grew stingy under Obama defies logic. The best I can figure is your source is unfairly picking what was supposed to be a temporary high level of spending to deal with the financial meltdown beginning at the end of Bush’s term, and using that as a base to say that Congressional spending is stingy .

    Again that level was supposed to be temporarily high until the financial markets stabilized .To use that artificially high base to compare spending increases and decreases is intellectual lunacy . Absolute spending levels under Presidents, adjusted for inflation, are more relevant .


    • As usual, you say you ‘can’t prove anything’ but you’re ready to claim the information is wrong. And “the best you can figure” is some sort of unfairness.

      How about this Alan – how about you go find out for yourself if it’s true or not and when you find something we like to call ‘evidence’ to support your statements, how about you bring it here for us to see.


  3. I never trust mainstream media. Since I’ve been living in Thailand I’ve realized that CNN, MSNBC and FOX (faux) News doesn’t broadcast the same news we see in America. In Ameirca it, it’s not mainstream media if it doesn’t include the most recent winners and losers of ANY reality show. American Freedom? Pfft..When will people wake up and see how censored Western news really is?


    • Hello Lynn and welcome. I quite agree with you that what passes for ‘news’ here is just pablum. Even the old broadcast networks barely bother to cover anything important in their measley 21 minutes a night of news. If I were dependent on US television news . . . it doen’st bear thinking about. Were it not for BBC America and what I read I’d have no idea at all of what’s going on in the world. Or even in my own country!

      On that subject, you may want to take a look at this:

      (Thailand – is it as beautiful as it looks from afar?)


      • Thailand? -Even more so.. If I had to pick the most beautiful thing about this place it would be THE PEOPLE. They are so reverent in their Buddhism. I’ve never seen so many people so happy with so little.


  4. I probably won’t make any friendds with this comment but it has to be said: America lost the Revolutionary war. It’s true.

    The Revolutionary War was fought and concluded when Cornwallis surrendered to Washington at Yorktown. As Americans we have been taught that we defeated the king and won our freedom.The Treaty of 1783 was signed in 1783, the war was over in 1781. In the first article of the Treaty most of the kings claims to America are relinquished, except for his claim to continue receiving gold, silver and copper as gain for his business venture. If the United States defeated England, how is the king granting rights to America, when we were now his equal in status? If we had won the Revolutionary War, the king granting us our land would not be necessary, it would have been ours by his loss of the Revolutionary War.


    • Interesting . . . we did pretty much defeat the King’s military forces and they did retreat. But even if what you say is true, can it matter much now, as we’ve been sovereign since ’83?

      (I’d say the war we ‘lost’ was the Civil War. The North probably should have just let the South go – we are nearly two countries still.)


      • Can it matter much? I think so as we are obviously still “in bed” with Britain after all these years. Actually Britain indeed was directly involved in the making of warships during the civil war (for the Confederacy). I agree with you America is too big- way too big! I like your blog, I think I’ll visit again.


  5. I find it amazing how those that lean somewhat to the left are always wringing their hands about FOX; which is anything but genuine conservative, but for the sake of argument I’ll take that ante and raise you say …
    MSNBC, ABC, CBS, MTV, NBC, BET, LOGO, PBS, CNN, BBC, ALJEZERRA, VH1, Hollywood media and of course TPM …


    • MTV? Really? MTV Steve?

      LEt’s remember that Hollywood is so successful because the American people support its product with their money. The market at work!

      MSNBC, TPM, many others, genuinely and openly liberal. The rest? BET? PBS? BB-frackin’-C??? BBC is the largest most trusted news organization WORLD WIDE. Please, how are they liberal? And The PBS News Hour, by all measurements, always comes up as the most trusted news source on TV.

      Going by your list, if those are all ‘liberally biased’, then so is the public because most of those are very successful.


      • Dear Moe, my point is that the left continually points to FOX New (Faux in my opinion) as “the source” for right wing only news, which is leaps and bounds from the truth. I believe if you visit my site I rarely, if ever use FOX as a source, (and I literally never watch it on television) and when I do it’s only because it might be convenient at the time. I can always find my stuff on other more reputable sites. Personally I loathe many of the phony conservatives that the left proclaim as pillars of the right, but I digress.
        It’s common knowlege that the vast majority of the main stream media are very liberal biased and report as such. Be careful as to what you refer to the reason why an entity is successful.
        Rush is successful too … and I think it’s comical the way liberals get their panties in wad so easily at him. Jeez, talk about vicious name calling! Ridiculous! Oh, and I also think it’s shameful the way the left actually justifies people like Bill Maher’s antics yet go ballistic over stuff like Rush’s blunder.
        Hoping your weekend is great Moe!


  6. Ms. Holland,

    I believe I am right in saying that looking at net change in spending during Obama and saying that Congress is stingy is lunacy . It’s like taking the federal budget during the WW2 years when it was artificially high and then making comparisons to 1946-48. It is the same irrelevant logic .Your man Obama takes a high base of spending, considers that the norm, and then complains the Tea Party won’t bankrupt the country fast enough to make him happy .


  7. Your man Obama takes a high base of spending, considers that the norm, and then complains the Tea Party won’t bankrupt the country fast enough to make him happy .

    Would it help if you someone took your finger and followed the lines? I’m just curious here, because it seems like you have almost a pathological disregard for evidence, especially when it contradicts your picture of the world.


    • Ummmm, how can you claim to support evidence-based anything if you side with the GOP or the Tea Party. You know, the folks who still deny climate change, evolution and science-based medicine. There are lots of numbers in science. They’re called statistics.


  8. The Arbourist,

    Here are my numbers. If you got better numbers, I’m all ears. 🙂 .

    Federal expenditures by year.
    1997 – $1.6 Trillion 2002 – $ 2.01 Trillion 2007 – $ 2.73 Trillion
    1998 – $ 1.65 Trillion 2003 – $ 2.16 Trillion 2008 – $ 2.98 Trillion
    1999 – $ 1.7 Trillion 2004 – $ 2.29 Trillion 2009 – $ 3.52 Trillion
    2000 – $ 1.8 Trillion 2005 – $ 2.47 Trillion 2010 – $ 3.45 Trillion
    2001 – $ 1.86 Trillion 2006 – $ 2.66 Trillion 2011 – $ 3.6 Trillion

    The projections for the coming years go much higher. Is that Pathological enough for you ?


    • Hey Alan! Did you check out the comment by Elyse? Holy crap! If these are the kind of people you’re dealing with here I’d rethink my strategy … as folks like Elyse haven’t “evolved” enough yet … you know people like that are the best argument for evolution … jeez!


    • It would help if I had an idea where you got ‘your’ numbers. The ones in the charts come from 30 years of publised statistics from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. They measure ‘net change in spending’ which is not at all the same thing as spending. So . . a source for your numbers Alan?


  9. Ms. Holland,

    I thank you for a rational response. Everyone else just condemned me with out proving any of my figures wrong. I had a lot more trouble finding numbers I was confidant in posting than I had imagined . I am tired of relying on Wikipedia. Even on the following site I had a hard time separating out federal from state and local spending . Most of the sites combined everything. Anyway this is where I got it. I rounded off the numbers I posted, but I don’t believe that is material .


    • [condemned me with out proving any of my figures wrong] What’s this with your eternal challenges to ‘prove me wrong’?

      The numbers I presented ARE come from a source used by banks, foreign countries, US businesses – those are the Gov’t reported numbers for 30 years from a reputable US federal agency…

      But you don’t beleive them so you head over to a site by a Tea Partier where the figures cant be compared to what I presented and don’t include military spending. And their ‘source’ shown at the bottom right of most of the charts is . . . themselves, interpreting data from other sources.


  10. Ms. Holland,

    ” The numbers I presented ARE come from a source used by banks, foreign countries, US businesses – those are the Gov’t reported numbers for 30 years from a reputable US federal agency… ”

    You did not give any real numbers. You gave % increases, which I again say are meaningless, because they are based on an artificially high baseline.


    • [You did not give any real numbers. You gave % increases]

      Alan, the post is about authorized increases across administrations and congresses over 32 years. Which ‘baseline’ is ‘artificially high’?


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