The president of Americans for Tax Reform, Gover Norquist, has an op-ed in the New York Times: "Federal spending in the 2008 fiscal year was $2.9 trillion, and Washington will now spend $3.8 trillion in the fiscal year that ends on Sept. 30....There is only one fix for a spending problem: spend less."
Framing it that way, with 2008 as the baseline, makes it sound like it's President Obama's fault, and, in some ways, it is. But if you use the last year of the Clinton administration rather than the last year of the George W. Bush administration as the benchmark, the starting number for federal outlays is about $1.8 trillion in 2000, rather than $2.9 trillion in 2008. Both the most recent Republican president (George W. Bush) and the most recent Democratic president (Barack Obama) have increased spending by about $1 trillion apiece. Mr. Obama has managed to do it in less than three years, while it took Mr. Bush his full term. I do agree with Mr. Norquist that it is a spending problem.