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The Liberal Spending Habits of President George Bush

December 5th 2005

The Liberal Spending Habits of President George Bush

Reagan and Bush in Red

Many conservatives consider ex-President Bill Clinton a fiscal liberal.  But is this true?  We should review what the Presidents propose to spend and then compare that to what Congress actually passes the budget.  Congress does control the purse strings but the President sends them an executive proposal first. 

According to a survey conducted by the House Appropriations Committee President Reagan proposed spending $29.4 billion dollars than what Congress actually passed.  Thank goodness the Democrats served as a fiscally conservative balance for the fiscally liberal Reagan.

The actual expenditures during the Reagan administration were higher than what Congress or the President considered spending.  There are variables that can either raise the expenditures or lower them.  For instance if each person on unemployment is granted a certain amount of money and more people than expected sign up for unemployment the actual expenditures will be more. 


But what about Bush – he should be the most conservative of them all with the Republican Congress in support, right?  According to research done by the Heritage Foundation this is not the case.  It appears President Bush combined with a “conservative” congress is much more fiscally liberal than President Clinton.

There Heritage Foundation has charts that illustrate the blatant out of control spending by the President.  When you remove defense spending and spending related to the attacks on September 11th 2005 and defending us from future attacks from the equation, the Bush Administration is still spending at a faster rate than Clinton.  Spending in this area has increased 11% between 2001 and 2003.

When you measure the spending as a percentage of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) both President Bushes and President Reagan spent more money than either Clinton or Carter.  In fact one of the reasons for the economic recovery under Reagan was his out of control spending. 

Most of this is missed by members in the Republican Party.  Most consider their leaders to be fiscally conservative while the Democrats are to blame for spending.  Most proposed budgets by the President are in line with what is actually passed, although actual spending could be more or less than what is passed. 

Typically my Republican friends are more fiscally conservative than my Democrat friends.  When it comes to electing a member from their party to Congress or the Executive Branch they end up with quite the opposite form what is expected.

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Chart of US Budget with respect to GDP

Reagan Spent more than Congress

Heritage Foundation Budget Comparisons

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By Tom Madison
Freelance Writer

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Keywords and misspellings:  politics poletics democrat demoncrat republican repub comentary commentary

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