Which President Has Presided Over The Largest Spending Increases Since 1961?





-- Black and white illustration of ex president Bill Clinton --A number of people emailed after I posted “Some US Government Spending Statistics From 1960 to 2010” yesterday, asking if I could break down the numbers by president.

In 1961, the United States government spent a total of $97,723,000,000 (this works out to about $708,492,000,000 in inflation adjusted dollars).

In 2010, the United States government is expected to shell out somewhere in the neighborhood of $3.7 trillion.

How did spending grow so much in the past 50 years? Which presidents oversaw the largest increases in spending while they were in office? Which presidents oversaw the smallest increases in spending?

Let’s break it down:

Kennedy/Johnson (1961-1964)
Spending Grew by 6.5% YoY (Year over Year)
Spending Grew by 5.28% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

Lyndon B. Johnson (1965-1968)
Spending Grew by 10.93% YoY
Spending Grew by 7.74% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

Richard Nixon (1969-1972)
Spending Grew by 6.7% YoY
Spending Grew by 1.97% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

Nixon/Ford (1973-1976)
Spending Grew by 12.85% YoY
Spending Grew by 4.44% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

Jimmy Carter (1977-1980)
Spending Grew by 12.32% YoY
Spending Grew by 2.37% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

Ronald Reagan, First Term (1981-1984)
Spending Grew by 9.62% YoY
Spending Grew by 3.46% YoY (Inflation Adjusted

Ronald Reagan, Second Term (1985-1988)
Spending Grew by 5.79% YoY
Spending Grew by 2.33% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

George H. W. Bush (1989-1992)
Spending Grew by 6.75% YoY
Spending Grew by 2.24% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

Bill Clinton, First Term (1993-1996)
Spending Grew by 3.1% YoY
Spending Grew by 0.31% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

Bill Clinton, Second Term (1997-2000)
Spending Grew by 3.48% YoY
Spending Grew by 1.15% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

George W. Bush, First Term (2001-2004)
Spending Grew by 6.41% YoY
Spending Grew by 4.02% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

George W. Bush, Second Term (2005-2008)
Spending Grew by 6.82% YoY
Spending Grew by 3.4% YoY (Inflation Adjusted)

Barack Obama (2009-2012)
Spending Expected to Grow by 6.71% YoY (according to White House projections)
*inflation numbers not available

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So, the three highest average Year over Year increases for a single presidential term belonged to:

Nixon/Ford, +12.85%
Jimmy Carter, +12.32%
Lyndon B. Johnson, +10.93%

The three highest Year over Year increases (for a single presidential term) AFTER accounting for inflation:

Lyndon B. Johnson, +7.74%
Kennedy/Johnson, +5.28%
Nixon/Ford, +4.44%

The three lowest average Year over Year increases (for a single presidential term):

Bill Clinton’s First Term, +3.1%
Bill Clinton’s Second Term, +3.48%
Ronald Reagan’s Second Term, +5.79%

The three lowest average Year over Year increases after adjusting for inflation (for a single presidential term):

Bill Clinton’s First Term, +0.31%
Bill Clinton’s Second Term, +1.15%
Richard Nixon’s First Term, +1.97%

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The president who oversaw the smallest increases in government spending? Bill Clinton, and it’s not even close.

The president who oversaw the largest increases in government spending? After adjusting for inflation, Lyndon B. Johnson.

Source: Davemanuel.com - Some US Government Spending Statistics From 1960 to 2010

Source: Office of Management and Budget - Historical Tables




Filed under: General Knowledge

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