Angles and Dangles

Who Spends More - Democrats or Republicans

June 12th, 2011


I am not a huge fan of today's main stream media. I agree with the Tea Party that government spending is out of control. I do not agree with the Tea Party that the time to cut spending is during a time when our unemployment rate is 9.1%, as cutting spending will increase the unemployment rate, which in turn cuts revenues to the government. But, this is not about what I think. This is about cold hard statistics. Who spends more when in office? Republicans or Democrats.

I will disclose here that I am a social conservative with very, very fiscally conservative leanings. I liked Reagan as president, Bush I as president, I liked Clinton (even though my mother sent me a "countdown to Clinton calendar as a taunt" when he was elected), I liked Bush II's first two years then was disgusted with the last six. I think Obama has done a great job given the hand he was dealt. I do not think he has done enough regarding jobs, but am even more disgusted with the Republican led Congress that got elected on "jobs, jobs, jobs" and in six months have done absolutely nothing. Not one Bill. Nothing!


But, this is not about what I think. This is about cold hard statistics. Who spends more when in office? Republicans or Democrats.

First the results

1913 through 2007 Average Deficit Spending with a...

1977 though 2007 Average Deficit Spending with a...

* One branch controlled by Democrats, the Other by Republicans

The Criteria Used

It is impossible to have a meaningful historic discussion about spending without using the consumer price index. The consumer price index is the cost of a "basket of goods" that is adjusted for inflation. In other words, gum cost less in 1980 than it does today, so how can one compare the relative price? The CPI adjusts these prices so you can compare them to todays prices.

The reality is that the current year budget is determined in the previous fiscal year. This is an incredibly important point to understand. The party coming into office is under a budget that was determined the prior year. As such, one must give credit (or discredit) where it is due.

My 2-Cents on the Results

I was totally blown away by these numbers. Astounded! I had no idea. I keep hearing in the media how the Republicans have lost their way. When did they have their way? I went back to 1977 and the numbers are staggering. I am still reeling over these numbers. Frankly, I think the Tea Party would have a better chance if they switched gears and moved to the Democratic Party to reign in spending. Clearly, the fact that most Americans believe that Republicans are the fiscal conservatives may well be the greastest marketing fraud in the history of civilization.


Annual Budget Statistics

CPI Statistics

Treasury Debt Statistics

Please Note: As I have no control over the longevity of these links I have archived exact data from these references on my site for historical reference