Former Reagan economist Arthur Laffer, who consulted on Kansas’ tax policy, and Stephen Moore of the Wall Street Journal noted how “the largest peacetime expansion of government spending in U.S. history” occurred during George W. Bush’s administration, not during the Obama administration. The list of spending is long, they wrote, starting with “the 2003 trillion-dollar Medicare prescription drug benefit and culminating with the actions taken to stem the 2008 financial meltdown – the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program, the bailout of insurance giant AIG and government-sponsored lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the ill-advised 2008 $600-per-person tax rebate, the stimulus add-ons to 2007’s housing and farm bills, etc.” The stimulus plan and auto industry bailouts helped increase spending during Obama’s first year in office, but since then it has decreased (due in part to the recovering economy and pressure from GOP lawmakers who suddenly cared again about deficits).
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