Peter Ferrara

Obama campaign operative Rex Nutting surprised a lot of people with an article on the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch website claiming that the "Obama Spending Binge Never Happened." Adding a new chapter to Aesop's Fables, Nutting fantasized that "under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s."

Just like if Jack in the Beanstalk and the Jolly Green Giant both eat the same feast, the percentage weight gain for the Giant will be so much smaller than for Jack. Or as the Journal's editorial page explained it in its weekend May 26-27 edition, "This is like an alcoholic claiming that his rate of drinking has slowed because he had only 22 beers today and 25 beers yesterday."

Nutting does not offer evidence in his article that he has any idea what he is talking about. But he seems to have been fed some storyline by Nancy Pelosi, who is to Sarah Palin what Dorothy's Strawman was to Sherlock Holmes.

Nutting's confusion is what he claims as his insight -- that George W. Bush's last fiscal year was 2009. Fiscal year 2009 ran from October 1, 2008 until September 30, 2009. Most 4th graders could spot the error.

Sure federal spending grew more slowly after Obama's first year starting on January 20, 2009. But it was that first year that began the wildest spending binge in world history, "under Obama."

Obama's Fault

Nutting begins his stumbling by explaining to us, "What people forget (or never knew) is that the first year of every presidential term starts with a budget approved by the previous administration and Congress." Not exactly.

The previous administration, or President, proposes a budget. The previous Congress approves a budget. And what Congress approves can be radically different from what the President proposes.

For fiscal year 2009, President Bush in February, 2008 proposed a budget with a 3 percent spending increase over the prior year. But Nutting seems to have no memory that the Congress in 2008 was controlled by Democrat majorities, with the renowned budget skinflint Nancy Pelosi as Speaker of the House, and the restless Senator Obama already running for President, just four years removed from his glorious career as a state Senator in the Illinois legislature.


Peter Ferrara

Peter Ferrara is General Counsel for the American Civil Rights Union, a Senior Fellow at the Carleson Center for Public Policy and a senior fellow at the National Center for Policy Analysis.