As Obama finishes his first year in office, we ought to pause and acknowledge his success as a big spender. Indeed, he is the all-time champion.
For a meaningful comparison, let’s put the figures in Year 2000 dollars. In his first year, Obama spent $2.8 trillion, thus completely eclipsing the record set for first year spending by George W. Bush. Bush spent $1.8 trillion, which only modestly broke Bill Clinton’s record of $1.6 trillion.
You have to go back to Gerald Ford to find a president who spent less than a trillion bucks during his first year in office. He spent $982 billion in 1975 (again, in Year 2000 dollars). And the last president actually to spend less than his predecessor during the first year was Dwight Eisenhower, who spent a miserly $556 billion.