February 26, 2009

NOT THAT THE GIPPER WASN'T A BIG SPENDER...:

Ronald Reagan, closet socialist (Jay Bookman, February 26, 2009, Atlanta Journal-Constitution)

Since 1970, the annual federal budget has been as low as 18.4 percent of our gross domestic product, and as high as 23.5 percent. (In 2008, preliminary figures say it was 20.5 percent.) (Source, Historical Tables, Office of Management and Budget).

Interestingly, that peak of 23.5 percent occurred in 1983, under President Ronald Reagan. In fact, the federal government consumed a greater share of our national income that year than in any year since the end of World War II.

To take it further, since 1947, the four years in which the federal government consumed the biggest chunk of our national income — the years in which Washington stole the most food off our children’s plates, as conservative rhetoric might put it — all occurred under Reagan.


...but starting from 1947 is revealing. Reagan and W should be measured against other wartime presidencies, as Bill Clinton ought be measured against interwar administrations.

Posted by Orrin Judd at February 26, 2009 2:03 PM
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