« FRBSF: Structural and Cyclical Elements in Macroeconomics | Main | Links for 2012-03-17 »

Friday, March 16, 2012

Per Capita Government Spending by President

Via email:

Seeing the Krugman commentary comparing real government spending under Obama and Reagan made me curious about what it looks like if you express it in per capita terms?  In particular, how does the Obama period compare with other presidencies in terms of penury/austerity versus spendthriftness?
To compare presidencies, I did the calculation two ways.  One starts in the quarter before the president was elected (e.g., 2008Q4), the other starts in the first quarter of the presidency (e.g., 2009Q1).  (The ARRA probably had some effect in Q1, but most of the change was simply economic conditions that the incoming president had nothing to do with, so I think I prefer the Q1 to Q1 method). Ranking since Johnson (starting in 1968), and using the first-quarter comparisons, and calculating growth under Obama through 2011Q4, Clinton is the most austere, followed by Obama.  The most spendthrift are (1) Nixon-Ford, (2) Reagan, and (3) Bush II.   The figure is pasted below:

Percapgov

    Posted by on Friday, March 16, 2012 at 09:37 AM in Economics, Fiscal Policy, Politics | Permalink  Comments (81)

          


    Comments

    Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.