This graph in this post showing real per capita growth in government expenditures under recent presidents got more attention than I expected (e.g.), probably because for many people the growth under Obama was unexpectedly low. Here's the updated version of the graph (as before, this came to me via email):
Here are the notes that came with the older version of the graph:
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). ...