Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Big Government

The political right in the US keeps repeating the lie that "big government" has gotten onerous in the US and is growing larger by the day. They want to cut taxes and shrink government.

But this graph shows that government has been shrinking for at least 15 years in the US:

Click to Enlarge

The above is from a post by Brad DeLong entitled "Atrios Tells Us That Paul Krugman Addresses David Brooks's Zombie Lies".
Here in the U.S. we had a tax-and-transfer stimulus--we put more cash into the hands of households (and banks!). But we did not try an expansionary spending stimulus. Put together localities, states, and the federal government, and our government did not purchase a larger share of the economy's productive potential in 2009 than it had in 2008, and in 2010 and 2011 we cut government purchases as a share of potential GDP--in 2011 sharply.
Sadly the political right is not interested in facts and they drown out the facts so almost nobody in the US understands that their "heavy hand" of government has been getting lighter all the time and that over the last 2 years spending by government has shrunk by 1% of GDP.

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