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Fox & Friends Distorts Data On Obama's Spending Record


As caught by Media Matters, Fox & Friends reported the growth of government spending as a share of GDP under Bush in 2008 was 3.2 percent and rose to 10.1 percent in 2009. By contrast, Fox told its viewers, Obama's four fiscal years 2010-2013 averaged 23.8 percent spending growth.

Here's the chart Fox showed its viewers:

It's a riveting discrepancy -- if only it were true.

In fact, the 2008 and 2009 figures reflect federal spending growth pegged to federal revenue, while the 2010-2013 figures counted spending growth as a share of the economy.

A more direct comparison is unremarkable. If Fox applied the same standard as they used for Bush, then 2010-2013 spending growth under Obama would average 7.9 percent, down from 10.1 in 2009, the year that Bush and Obama shared.

Under the metric by which Obama's government spending growth averaged 23.8 percent, the years 2008 and 2009 saw rates of 20.8 and 25.2, respectively.

About The Author


Sahil Kapur is TPM's senior congressional reporter and Supreme Court correspondent. His articles have been published in the Huffington Post, The Guardian and The New Republic. Email him at and follow him on Twitter at @sahilkapur.

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