Quick Budget Facts

It’s always fun to go through some quick facts about the budget because it’s sure to stir up the Republican noise machine when they realize the bullet points don’t line up with what Fox News has been telling them.  Let the fun begin!


  • FY 2012 spending accounts for about 24% of GDP.
  • The all time high for federal spending is 44% of GDP set during WWII in 1944.
  • During Reagan’s massive spending binges, the federal budget reached 23% of GDP. Slightly lower than it is today.  Remember he was a “fiscal conservative” too.
  • Social Security spending accounts for 19% of the federal budget.
  • Military spending accounts for 19% of the federal budget.
  • Medicare spending accounts for 12% of the federal budget.
  • Financing the debt run up by the fiscally conservative Reagan accounts for 6% of the total budget, $242 billion in 2012.
  • Fiscally conservative Reagan increased federal spending by 21.5% and increased the budget deficit by 89.2% in 8 years.
  • Clinton increased federal spending by 12.4% and turned Reagan’s deficit into the largest budget surplus in history.
  • Fiscally conservative George W. Bush increased federal spending by 32.2%.  He wiped out the budget surplus he inherited and turned it into a whopping $1.5 trillion deficit in 8 years.
  • Barack Obama has increased spending by 8% in two years.  The deficit has shrunk from $1.5 trillion when he entered office to $1.2 trillion for FY12.