Perspective in a Chart: Government Spending Edition

Via Jonathan Bernstein:

President Reagan’s military Keynesianism shows up clearly in the early 1980s, with marginal fiscal drag from the states.  In the Great Recession (GR), both President’s GW Bush and Obama kicked up the non-defense federal spending, but what really stands out here is the state/local fiscal drag.

The non-defense would be TARP, ARRA, unemployment extensions, etc. The point is that context is important. The partisan deficit hawks you see now would remember the early eighties quite fondly as a time of “small government.” I do tire of those who seek to contextualize government spending under Reagan but prefer to speak of Bush/Obama in overly broad, generic terms.


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