In May, PolitiFact looked at historical data from the Office of Management and Budget along with projections from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office and calculated the average spending increases per year for 10 presidents over the past 60 years (skipping President Gerald Ford, whose tenure was too short to adequately measure).
Using raw dollars (not adjusted for inflation), Obama oversaw the lowest annual increases of spending among them. Jimmy Carter had the highest, followed by Richard Nixon.
PolitiFact also did a recalculation because of the special case of 2009, which came amid an economic and financial free fall that drove the nation’s leaders to spend a lot more than they ordinarily would. The 2009 fiscal year began four months before Obama moved into the White House, and its major spending decisions were made by George W. Bush and the previous Congress.
The recalculation shifted spending from Bush to Obama for the economic stimulus package, an expansion of the Children’s Health Insurance Program, an incremental increase in appropriations over Bush's level and the Troubled Asset Relief Program.
That shift moved Obama from last place in spending increases to either second from the bottom or third from the bottom.
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