...the main debate is about which president was the biggest overall spender. So I’ve run through the numbers... and here’s a new table looking at the rankings based on average annual changes in inflation-adjusted primary spending, minus the distorting impact of deposit insurance and TARP.
Reagan remains in first place, though his score drops now that his defense buildup is part of the calculations. Clinton, conversely, stays in second place but his score jumps because he benefited from the peace dividend after Reagan’s policies led to the collapse of the Soviet Empire.
Let’s now look at these numbers from a policy perspective. Rahn Curve research shows that government is far too big today, so the goal of fiscal policy should be to restrain the burden of government spending relative to economic output.
This means that policy moves in the right direction when government grows more slowly than the private sector, as it did under Reagan and Clinton.
But if government spending is growing faster than the productive sector of the economy, as has been the case during the Bush-Obama years, then a nation eventually will become Greece.
Hey, Axelrod -- here's a helpful hint: when even the Associated Press shreds your propaganda, you may want to switch your line of attack. Cause it's definitely not working.