Republicans like to portray President Obama as a big government spender, despite the fact that government spending under Obama has grown at its slowest pace since the Eisenhower administration. The GOP is also trying to pretend the spending cuts that Obama has signed into law over the last two years simply didn’t happen.
In fact, under its current trajectory, non-defense discretionary spending — everything from education to food safety to transportation to housing to veterans’ benefits — will hit historic lows in the next decade, as Center for American Progress Director of Tax and Budget Policy Michael Linden showed in these charts:
If the so-called “sequester” comes into force in March, which House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan (R-WI) says it will, domestic spending will fall even more. “Instead of totaling 3.2 percent of GDP in 2017, nondefense discretionary spending would total less than 3 percent of GDP and would be on its way down to 2.6 percent by 2022. This is less than two-thirds of what was previously its lowest level,” Linden wrote.