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When President Obama announced the debt-limit deal with Congress in late July, he claimed the legislation would result in “the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was President.” We’re spending less now then we did over 50 years ago? How is that even possible? In short, it’s not.

The United States spent an inflation-adjusted $327 billion on non-defense spending in 1961, Eisenhower’s last fiscal year in office. In 2011, according to a new Congressional Budget Office report released Wednesday, we will spend $2.9 trillion. That’s almost 1000% more government spending! Even if we account for U.S. economic growth since 1961, Obama’s 2011 non-defense spending still far exceeds Eisnehower’s as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).


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