Bush vs Obama: Facts And Observations

Tyler Durden's picture

Even as the political posturing over who spent what, how much and when reaches ridiculous levels, courtesy of the St. Louis Fed it is a short 5 minute process to fact check (thanks to the St Louis Fed's Fred) what the average annual federal expenditures, investment and consumption were/are under the regimes of Bush and Obama respectively. It also allows us to see what the average government saving, or rather, borrowing has been under the two administrations. The result, or rather the step function contained therein, may surprise some. Furthermore, we present a few observations from Sean Corrigan's latest later on the proclivity of the Obama administration to spend.... and spend... and spend... which demonstrates that while there certainly may be carryover from the previous administration, the eagerness of the current one to fund a record amount of disposable income via state transfer funding can not be blamed on the Bush by any sane person.

First, a head to head comparison of expenditures, investment and consumption. Net result: a 332% difference when it comes to net average annual savings (or rahter the opposite). Guess in whose favor.

And some follow up observations from Corrigan:

Come on, people! This is NOT the fiat money equivalent of the Cuban Missile Crisis, for goodness’ sake! We are not going to reduce the world to cinders on the morning of August 2nd if the imperial presidency actually has to hew to the Constitution for a change!


While there would no doubt be occasion for some interim difficulty in speculative markets if the US did not get to borrow even more next week, the Federal government need not actually default on that fateful day: one should not overlook that it does still face the option of simply not writing as many uncovered cheques as has been its all-too profligate wont.


Be aware that the world’s largest economy still luxuriates in a soaring deficit of over 12% of private sector net domestic product (the wealth-creating rump out of which such debt must be serviced and redeemed) despite the ostensible recovery being enjoyed there. This gap comprises no less than forty, potentially inflationary percentage points of a vast, $3.6 trillion level of annual expenditure which is not only bigger than the output of the entire German economy, but which amounts to an initiative– and responsibility- crippling 30%+ of PNDP—a proportion heretofore unprecedented in peacetime.


Post-crisis, the Obama administration currently doles out three times as much as did the hardly parsimonious first Bush one, as recently as 1990, burning through as much in a year as its predecessors in office managed cumulatively to consign to the flames in the entire first three decades of the post-WWII experience.


To imagine that one could not make a meaningful attempt at good housekeeping within such broad confines—without having to confiscate more private means or to penalise more individual endeavour along the way—is, frankly, risible: a fact of which the erudite, considered, and entirely sane Ron Paul (a man we would back over the likes of that elder statesman-manqué, Vince Cable, in almost any field of endeavour) is just as fully cognisant as he is aware that this game of brinkmanship is one of the few methods possessed by a no longer supine legislature to bring an arrogant executive to heel.

The punchline:

Absent the expectations of a renewed policy of monetization from the Fed, US Treasury rates are therefore likely to back up far more from the simple return of a modicum of free market pricing, regardless of their attached rating, than they are from a belated recognition by the zero-credibility agencies that no amount of politically-convenient pretence to the contrary can seem to put cloth on the back of a thoroughly naked emperor.


The fewer free rides the global hegemon enjoys— either in the debt or currency markets (and the two are, naturally interlinked - the more responsible his behaviour might become toward both us and his own oft-afflicted citizenry. This battle could just conceivably bring about exactly such a curtailment of his ‘exorbitant privilege’.


Can this be entirely a bad thing of which to dream?

And the chart the summarizes it, together with the caption:

For the first sustained time since the Great Depression, the stretch since May 09 has seen government handouts exceed contributions. Currently, a net 13.5% of personal disposable income comes directly from the state, the highest fraction in the eighty-year record. The swing from pre-crisis levels is ~$845 billion pa: what must this must mean for the deficit and debt?

As well as some other charts:

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
ArkansasAngie's picture

Washington's picks of winners and  losers don't match mine.

It's all of them.

Chaos is called for from time to time.

PaperBugsBurn's picture

I just gotta say...Sean Corrigan rocks!

Republi-Ken's picture


Mother Fucking Republicans ...

In 1995 Republican Morons shut-down the Government in over-reach stupidity,

Then these Idiots impeached Clinton over his private sex life,

Then these Fools took a 2000 budget surplus and strong dollar and TRASHED THE FUCK,

Then these A-holes started the 1st pre-emptive war in our history looking for weapons that never exisited,

Then these Cocks destroyed our national integrity with the 1st Torture in our history,

Then these Dicks atttacked the 1st Black President in our history, from Day 1, as in destroy that NIGGER,

...The best thing for America is CIVIL WAR to send these Pricks Forever 2 Their Political Eternity.



slewie the pi-rat's picture

you posted this same comment, verbatim, 4-5 hours earlier. 


07-30 19:30:   Mother Fucking Republicans 07-30 14:54: Mother Fucking Republicans you have been "registered" on zH for 14 months but have only been "activated for posting" for less than 3 weeks. whether you know it or not, you are a troll, a moronic shithead, and an asswipe.  pls get fuking lost.  tyvm!
slewie the pi-rat's picture

not that i haven't done it myself, of course...

hell, the first time i read it, i didn't even mind it that much;  what s/he's actually saying isn't nearly as outrageous as the way s/he's saying it. 

but let's try a new post now & then, too, ok? 

John_Coltrane's picture

And, you know, I gave him the correct URL for this comment/rant in that post.  But maybe he doesn't know what a URL is?

Well Ken,  here's where need to go:  (the French would simple say:  Allez en fer)


Just type it in that little box thingy at the top of your browser.  Its not that hard, unlike thinking-obviously not your strong suit.  If you acquire another neuron to make a synaptic connection let us know in a future comment.  And, in the meantime remember, the bell shaped IQ curve wouldn't be symmetrical without people like you.

HellFish's picture

The stupid is strong in Ken

toady's picture

Bush Derangment Syndrome

Zero Govt's picture

Republi Ken

Have you read the article yet retard? Bush was diabolial, Obumma is even worse (financial mis-management, suicide socialist spending and just as many, if not more, murderous wars) ...take your pills, you're definately dysfunctional without them

VodkaInKrakow's picture

Many people here have swallowed the blue pill. Many. CAUSE AND EFFECT, BITCHEZ!

Bush tax cuts cost $2.5 trillion - Obama extended them. Depriving the Nation of needed money.
That Pres. Bush took projected budget savings resulting from Clinton and turned them into trillions in deficits.
The Great Republican Recession is a direct response to fiscal mismanagement over 30-40 years, in particular - Republican mismanagement. Reaganomics. Tax-cuts produce jobs. Etc.
The greatest financial meltdowns occurred on Bush's watch. Enron. The Great Republican Recession, ongoing.
That President Bush signed TARP. Continued by Obama.
That the greatest regulatory failures occurred under Bush. And continue under Obama.
That Obama continues, and expands, many Bush initiatives.
That The Great Republican Recession has reduced government revenue and contributes directly to the deficit.
That the Bush-Obama tax cuts contribute directly to the deficit.
That unfunded wars started by Bush (Iraq - in which 4000 Americans lost their lives, murdered by Bush's lies)contribute to the deficit. Continued and expanded by Pres. Obama.
In 2008 for FY2009, the first trillion-dollar budget deficit was signed by... President George W. Bush.
That unfunded Medicare Part D, passed by a Republican Congress and signed by President Bush, increases the deficit. Mandated. Pres. Bush's White House intentionally hid the costs, like the mythical Iraqi oil paying for the Iraq War.
The costs of both wars, left unfinished by Pres. Bush, will total more than $4 trillion, both now and future outlays (medical care for wounded veterans, re-equipping the military, etc.) and, thus, will continue to add to deficits.
That, in the last two years of Pres. Bush's Presidency and catastrophic ineptitude, a Democrat-controlled Congress aided and abetted. Whereas, in the first six years of his Presidency, Republicans destroyed what little fiscal soundness was left of America. And 'soundness' is used very f*cking loosely.

That Deficits add to the Nation's debt.

Pres. Obama is a moderate Republican. That is determined by his actions. Unless you believe politician with a (D) or (R) after their name. Consider ACA, similar to previously Republican-supported proposals. That drive millions of Americans into the arms of the same failed health care corporations. That money Americans receive in subsidies to purchase health care will go directly to health care corporations - a subsidy from the government by taxpayer money. That Pres. Obama continues the bank bailouts. That corporate America has increased their profits under Obama - just not the little guys, the untermensch; who get pissed off that they are not getting some of the pie.


Clinton did some things also. Repeal Glass-Stegall. NAFTA. And some other things.
G.H.W. Bush before him almost doubled Reagan's debt.
Carter had poor- to no- leadership during his Presidency.
Ford, well, he was Ford. And Nixon took us off the Gold Standard.

All-in-all, Democrats and Republicans led to this. With Republicans shouldering almost $10 trillion out of $14 trillion in blame (by debt numbers) for it. Historically, debt is greater under Republicans than Democrats - FACT.

robobbob's picture

How do "tax cuts" cost anything? none of that money belongs to the government. they didn't earn it. Technically were responsible for creating it, but it is worthless script without someone creating underlaying assets/wealth/productivety that gives it value. They are just taking it, at ever increasing levels, to pay for projects with ever decreasing returns.

If they were a business, it would be way past time to bail on them.

As for Repugs being responsible, yes Virginia, the GOP and DNC are both owned and operated for the benefit of the same group of TPTB. The sooner the masses realize that team red/team blue is a scam being run on them, the greater the chances of fixing this before it's too late.

Huxley's picture

You are side-stepping the mathematics of the problem by addressing your subjective beliefs regarding the (im)morality of taxes.  The cause for the rising debt has far more to do with lowered revenues than increased spending. Whether we want to blame Bush solely or also blame Obama for keeping them going, it's this lowered revenue that's to blame for the rising debt.

Whether or not this money 'belongs' to those who we've elected to represent us is the wrong question.  That money is spent back into the economy which is why the economy works.  The reason we are able to make money in the first place is because there exists a certain infrastructure and codified and enforced agreements which allow us to have a functioning system.  Without it, our economy would resemble a 3rd world country where the vast majority of resources are controlled by a few syndicates and everyone else dwindles in poverty.  Of course, trickle-down Golden shower economics has brought us a step closer to this.  Your implied anrcho-capitalism would lead us further toward such a system.




Kobe Beef's picture

So aside from the labels & marketing, no matter who you vote for, you get the same FUBAR?

Almost makes you think the real decisions are made elsewhere & the voting booth is only theater. Nah, that would be impossible.

FUBAR, it's what's for dinner.

FUBAR, it's got what plants crave.

Choose one. Now go vote, simpleton.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

Yes, green for you!

It amazes me to no end how virulent the Syndrome continues to be so long after Bush has been gone.

Maybe it's a father-figure thing...

RockyRacoon's picture

The article was fun to read... and fantasize about, but one cannot simply draw a line at the inauguration dates.   Trajectories, slopes, and all that, are all important in determining the propensity for debt accumulation.   The nearly vertical direction of the debt/deficit the last day Bush left office, and the day Obama was sworn in, is not easily changed.   I'll agree that by now it should be making a more gently downward trend line at least, but there are too many Keynesians surrounding the President (of his own doing) that make any improvement impossible.

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

@ Republi-Ken,

I guess the above figures did not impress you.  Just wait another year, the numbers that Obama adn Ds are going to spend (and further add to our debt burden) will likely take even YOUR breath away.

Unless you are one of the priveledged ones (.gov worker, D lobbyist, D Party honcho).  Then I hope you feel BAD when our country goes into the furnace.

"Oh, and it's all George Bush's fault."  Cocktail party talk over at R-Ken's Mahattan dinner parties...

PierreLegrand's picture

Bring that shit on...the left's been calling for revolution for years it is about time that they got on with it. The most incompetent fucks in the world will make a revolution against the most competent folks in the world...America's Silent majority. Fun fun fun till the daddy takes the t-bird away. You fucks probably don't realize just how fucking pissed off we are about the left. Start a revolution and fuck with us and you will find out.


DoChenRollingBearing's picture

We are better armed than the Left is too.

StychoKiller's picture

If a conservative doesn't like guns, he doesn't buy one.  If a Progressive/Socialist doesn't like guns, he wants all guns outlawed.  If a conservative is a vegetarian, he doesn't eat meat.  If a Progressive/Socialist is a vegetarian, he wants all meat products banned for everyone.  If a conservative is a non-believer, he doesn't go to church.  A
Progressive/Socialist non-believer wants any mention of God and religion silenced. (Unless it's a foreign religion, of course!)

Raymond Reason's picture

Good observation!  Its a difference in basic psychology.  There are many people in this world who possess an inate compulsion to exert control over the people around them.  The group that does not possess this compulsion, are often baffled by the behavior of those who do. 

grey7beard's picture

>> .the left's been calling for revolution for years


Unfortunately, I think you morons actually believe the crap.  What left are you talking about?  In this country, there is right, and extreme right, no left.  Please point out the leftist goups out there.

Who the fuck are the gun fanatics?  Hard to have a revolution without guns.  Left wing militias?  I don't think so.

Stop and think for yourselves for a change.  Left, what a dumb fuck.

PierreLegrand's picture

Oh good now we get to watch a leftist argue about who is more pure...fuck off. Been watchin that show for the last 40 years and it is bullshit. "There is no left"...yea I know and communism has never been tried and it is a misunderstood system and my goodness if we could only make it more fucking pure.


Zero Govt's picture

Graybeard, you say there's "no left" but isn't America drowning in toxic debt from suicide socialist spending on healthcare, social security, State education, State subsidised transport etc? ...how about the toxic bankrupt scandal the US Govts "social housing" subsides/policies caused in the US property market?

Have you ever looked in your blinkered ideological life what the US Govt pisses away every year on socialist spending programs? Are you not familiar with reality?

isn't California, NY, Detroit and Chicago rotting and utterly bankrupt following every dumb socialist policy ever there was? No matter how much of other peoples money you rob (tax) and pour into these shitholes they keep being shitholes decade after decade. Voting 'Democrat' just hasn't delivered the socialist wonderland has it? Sorry reality disappoints year after year, State after State, but maybe you should start dealing with it

That old ruse of transfering wealth (tax robbery) from productive peple to unproductive Govt parasites for redistribution has failed in every US State it's practised. Funny but it's failed in every country in history it's practised too. Don't you get a reality news channel in ZombieWorld?

100 years of socialist ideological garbage has been 100 years of miserable bankrupt failure (see USSR, China, North Korea, Europe, America). Before you go back into your idealogical vacuum check the reality of socialist spending in those crumbling countries

grey7beard's picture

>>> isn't America drowning in toxic debt from suicide socialist spending on healthcare,

Partly true.  We're drowning in health care costs, but that is not because of governement spending providing health care to citizens.  The problem is runaway pro corporate policies that allow both the health care industry and insurance companies a free hand at profiteering off the backs of the working man.  We have by far the highest health care costs in the world but nohwere near the best care.  And the average schlep who would benefit from socialist type of health care system is pretty much kicked to the curb when it comes to health needs.

.>> social security,

Help me out here, how much of the deficit is social security spending?

>> State education,

No doubt a bloated system, but the bloat is not due to socialist polices.

>> State subsidised transport etc?

This I have to hear.  What state subsidized transport?  Are you talking about the pretty much non-existent public transportation?

>> ...how about the toxic bankrupt scandal the US Govts "social housing" subsides/policies caused in the US property market?

Follow the money.  Who benefited from the property situation?  Not the public.  It was corporate profiteering all the way.  Big banks, big insurance, developers, etc.

The problem in this country is corporate fascism, not socialism. 

GeorgeHayduke's picture

They won't get it greybeard.They see government spending and call it socialism because their talking heads told them that's what it is. They don't see the corporate lobbyists behind all of it because they don't want to see it.

You guys didn't even mention the right's most sacred spending: the military. How much has that unproductive waste drained from our country?

sun tzu's picture

Well dumbfuck, what the hell are they spending $3.8 trillion a year on if there is no socialism? What is social security, medicare, medicaid, HUD, section 8? 

You forget to mention that 0bozo hasn't ended the wars and started a new one. You forget to mention clinton's bombing of Serbia and Somalia. You forgot to mention it was the dimwitcrats that got us into Vietnam and Korea. You dimwits hate the military, but you don't mind sending them into war.

GeorgeHayduke's picture

Doesn't Obozo's unwillingness to end the wars show he's owned by the military industry? Just like Bush?, Just like Clinton, Bush I and Reagan?

Don't include me in the "you don't mind sending them to war" crew. I'm neither. Korea was beforei was born, Vietnam was before the fadscists took over during Regan. Since then they have ruled it all.

The main point being, there's no true left in this country. But hey, keep building that hate and anger toward your strawman. It's a really nice one you've built.

Raymond Reason's picture

No it's you who don't get it.  You're falling victim to the divide and conquer ploy.  It is both corporate fascism and government.  ALL power corrupts.  The founders tried to shackle government as best they could.  And it used to be that it took and act of legislature to charter a corporation, and corporations were strictly monitored to insure that that complied with the purposes expressed in their charters.  The charter had to be for the greater public good.  

TPTB want to pit the peasants against one another.   

GeorgeHayduke's picture

No, I do get it. What I'm saying is the so-called "LEFT" as imagined, hated  and feared by all of the self-style "conservatives" is nearly a complete myth. This country has few to no actual socialists of the type so many here hate so much. If we do have them, they are politically impotent and just serve as lame examples for the rabid idiots to hate.

If the socialists have so much power, please show me any legislation passed since Reagan that gives "the people" money and power while not giving more money and power to the corporations.that will administer the programs and likely wrote the legislation. Everything I've seen so far shows that wealth has been moving to the top the past several decades. How is this socialism? Please fill in this dumbass as to how this is so since I'm so stupid.

Yes, all of this is part of the divide and conquer strategy you mention in that the owners take the largest share, then have the rest of us fighting over the crumbs, making sure to have some inept social programs for the lesser minds to focus their hate towards. That is what I was trying to explain, but apparently I missed the mark. I brought up the wars since the military consumes about 50% of the budget, yet it received few mentions while SS, and all the usual suspects get all of the attention. Seems to me the elephant in the room consuming 50% of the resources is something to consider, but as soon as you mention it some folks go apeshit.

robobbob's picture

You're missing it.

The leftists in America tend to be of the fascist variety. The left talks about the honesty of poverty, the beauty of a starving artist, or the need of more sacrifice, while attending their post opening cocktail party and discussing how to route the gov grants through a network of non-profit front companies, then subcontracting the work to their for-profit corporation.

As long as the socialist money grabbing and the corporate money grabbing doesn't cross paths, neither side interferes with each other. Often, they work together. Nothing spells guaranteed cash flow like administering government progams. But as this pie is disappearing at a faster and faster rate, expect more push back from each group.

Andre's picture

Actually, BOTH are the problem.

Corporate fascism is pretty plain. No realistic environmental enforcement (Oh, we have "environmentalism" - as long as it benefits the corporations),, NAFTA (signed by Clinton), CAFTA (signed by Shrub), MFN for China (Clinton) South Korea (Obama), the positive tax incentives to send jobs offshore, etc.

OTOH, you have the "education" system which is STRONGLY socialist/collectivist. "Thinking right thoughts" is more important than learning the facts and skills required to function in a modern workplace. With a kid in school, I have seen this up close and personal. By making the government the arbiter of what is and what is not acceptable in society, we have, in essence, created a Pavlovian social machine. "I am a victim, so GIMME!" I am still amazed by the vegetarian telling me, and I quote, "Meat eaters are the problem, they are the fascists." And she meant it, all the while trying to roll over ne verbally - it was like listening to a machine gun of words.And as for the environmentalists, check this one out:


As a people, we have been told by both the Left and the Right everything we used to like is bad, whether it is meat, sun, or a good job. Ultimately, this means we are being told WE are bad.

Our society has fractured. The Left wanted it, and the Right wanted it. The fight now is between the "thought leaders" of the competing sides, which the people will lose.

grey7beard's picture

>> fuck off.

Ok, so there are no "leftist" groups pushing for revolution.  Thank you.

sun tzu's picture

fuck your mother, graycunt


which right-wing groups are calling for violent revolution? name some

GeorgeHayduke's picture

Here's a start since typing a few search words into a search engine seems a bit difficult for you (and I'll bet you complain about all those lazy fuckers who want nothing but a handout):


grey7beard's picture

>> fuck your mother, graycunt

Ah, the true mark of a man without an argument. 

>> which right-wing groups are calling for violent revolution?

And then the old tried and true straw man.  There was a claim made that "left wing" groups have been wanting a revoloution for a long time.  I refuted that claim.  I never said anything about right wing groups wanting violent revolution.  Can you please try and follow a simple thread?

robobbob's picture

bill ayers? van jones? cloward-piven? saul alinsky?

the left adjusted tactics and rhetoric, not the underlying goals. now instead of the force of arms, they rely on the force of law.

sun tzu's picture

Anything short of Karl Marx is considered extremist right-wing to you moonbat fuckers

SRV - ES339's picture

Thanks for getting everyone's attention Ken. A bit harsh... but you didn't mention Tea Bagger once, and no dead-beat dad Joe Walsh advising the country on sound fiscal policy... "I won't put one more dollar of debt on the backs of my children," 'cause I already owe them over $100K in child support... I'll stop there (TP'ers have problems with multi-para text).

Back to the facts in this latest ZH hit piece... a bit like calling out those overpaid firefighters for using all that water to put out the fire of the century... dontcha think? Oh, and don't worry about the civil war... 2012 is coming on fast (how about a bill to claw back all TP Congress members pension benefits if they can't last more than one term), then it's back to teaching poor kids to read using public social support funding (yes that's what Joe Walsh did before he discovered the TP cash cow for those willing to drink the right wing "we have a spending not a tax problem" koolaide)!

fxrxexexdxoxmx's picture

Clinton was impeached for lying under oath. Perjury is against the law. If you support lying under oath you do not respect the law.

Facists love minds such as yours.

PD Quig's picture

"Then these Idiots impeached Clinton over his private sex life."

Well, yeah. That and lying to a grand jury under oath and obstruction of justice.

nickadam's picture

I have been just reading through your site it is very well crafted, I am looking around on the net searching for the best way to start this blog thing and your website happens to be extremely professional.

Ford Fiesta / Ford Focus / Honda Civic - Audi A4 . bmw uk

PaperBugsBurn's picture



Whoever junked you about direct democracy is an idiot. Tyranny of the majority..bla bla bla


Socrates and Aristotle would turn over in their graves.


"representative democracy"...what a con job



Zero Govt's picture

well i junked you both for not thinking anything through (ie. not thinking)

we can represent ourselves thanks, no centralised 'system' to ratchet the wlll/opinions/policies of a majority over anybody. The majroity are usually behind the curve, conservative and block change. You might like to live according to a dumbed down average, i don't

Free Society and Free Markets ...both self-regulating, no Govt or internet voting system required... it works for nature, it's worked for humans for 2million years... we are individuals not a collective, with respect to the mediun average it can go fuk itself 

DoChenRollingBearing's picture

I have to go with Zero Govt on this one.  In addition to what he writes, please do not think that there would be no manipulation of counting votes on the Internet.

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?  (Who watches the guards?)

"Thre is nothing new under the sun."  -- Ecclesiastes


pizzgums's picture

"Facts don't do what you want them to" - Talking Heads

unununium's picture

Article is way beyond misleading. 

Why no row for tax revenues?  Because that would show that taxes collected are less under Obama, due to the economic ruin caused by Bush, and these lowered revenues are part of the reason for the increased deficit.


Much of the current administrations disbursements were not authorized by the current administration.  It did not start the wars, did not ruin the economy and make the bailouts necessary. Did not make the baby boomers come of age now.

A comparison of actual spending policy changes shows Bush at 4x Obama.  The reason you don't remember the big 'handout' legislation passing is because it didn't.  Obama is the fall guy, sucker, and throw-in play par excellence.  Never had a chance when shallow and duplicitous analysis like that found in this article can sway Americans and even ZH'ers



midtowng's picture

So true.

  It's sort of like comparing the height of a guy before and after he lost his legs and not taking into account whatever it was that cost him his legs.

  Bush took over with a near-balanced budget, no wars, and a much healthier economy.

Obama took over in the midst of a disaster. yes, I blame Obama for not doing more to fix the problem, but it is insane to blame him FOR the problem.

WestVillageIdiot's picture

Ummm, there was not really a healthy economy when Bush took over.  The economy was already in the midst of the tech stock implosion.  Nothing was going to stop that.  Plus, Wall Street had already been given the ultimate gift of the repeal of Glass-Steagall under Clinton.  The course was set even before Bush got in. 

I won't say anything about September 11th because that is a topic fraught with disagreement.