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Bush outspends Clinton, Reagan, Nixon and LBJ
The Reason
October 12, 2005

Over the past two weeks, I've written or co-written a couple of things about how George W. Bush outspent Lyndon Baines Johnson in his first four budgets. To recap: When it comes to inflation-adjusted increases in discretionary spending (comprising most defense and nonentitlement spending), Dubya beats LBJ like Sam Houston beat Santa Anna at the Battle of San Jacinto.

The gap becomes even bigger when you stretch the comparisons out to the first five years of each prez's budgets. Here are numbers for all recent presidents who oversaw at least five budgets prepared by American Enterprise Institute analyst Veronique de Rugy. All are based on Office of Management and Budget and all are adjusted for inflation. The Bush figure for fiscal year 2005 is based on OMB midsession review numbers; the figure for fiscal year 2006 is based on the OMB midsession review of the budget Bush submitted earlier this year (if anything, the final figures will be higher than his provisional budget):

First Five Years, Percentage Changes in Real Discretionary Spending
LBJ: 25.2%
Nixon: -16.5%
Reagan: 11.9%
Clinton: -8.2%
Bush: 35.2%

Read 'em and weep.
Posted by Nick Gillespie at October 12, 2005 11:15 AM

Bush didn't do all the spending by himself. He needed a lot of fiscal conservatives in the GOP to go along with his massive spending spree. Why do people vote for fiscal conservatives? Because they want liberal spending policy and they don't want to pay for it.