Monday, March 5, 2012

Government Spending in Recessions Under Reagan vs. Obama

As preface to this post, let's remind ourselves of Keynesian guru Dick Cheney's cogent observation, "Reagan taught us deficits don't matter."

Here's Paul Krugman, ensconced as usual at The New York Times, with data on government spending in a recession under Iconic Fiscal Conservative St. Ronald "Gipper" Reagan compared to government spending under Radical Kenyan Socialist Barack Hussein Obama:

This is just current government expenditures divided by the GDP deflator, starting from 1982 (Quarter)IV and 2009 (Quarter)II; no attempt to separate out unemployment benefits, other transfers, etc.. Slightly weaker than the purchases-only comparison, mainly because unemployment benefits fell faster under Reagan, but the story remains the same:

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