The Rachel Maddow Show | January 23, 2013
>>> graph time. during the george w. bush administration , government spending went up a lot. this is government expenditures per capita , per american person. it combines federal, and state and local governments, right? as you can see, it start there's when george w. bush took office in 2001 , and it wasn't like there was just some individual spike in spending that happened right after 9/11. it was a steady, huge increase over time . so per capita government spending was roughly 12 grand per person when w. came into office. when he left office, it wasn't 12 grand anymore, it was 16 grand in government spending for every man, woman and child in the country. that is a big, steep increase. for comparison sake, if you look at bill clinton , who was in office for the same amount of time, bill clinton also saw a spending rise, but compared to dubbia, he kept spending under control. it really takes off, as you can see, when it goes to bush. since president obama has been in office, he has been better than both of them. he hasn't just held the reins, like clinton did, he has turned it around, he has bent the curve, brought spending down from where it was. at the per capita level, president obama has actually brought spending down since he took office. so remember that. bush, more spending. obama, less spending. that is what is true.
>> it's clear the president is not serious about cutting spending. but spending is the problem.
>> we've got to stop the president on this issue. he is an out-of-control train right now on spending.
>> the president committed to an agenda th at calls for ever higher spending, a government that is out of control.
>> the president wants to pretend that spending isn't the problem.
>> it is a spending problem. and the president wants to increase taxes to continue the spending.
>> these democrats are going to spend us right into bankruptcy. they're not serious about getting things under control and stopping the spending.
>> the white house is so unserious about cutting spending.
>> none of that is true. i mean, to the extent that true means attached to facts. here is spending under bush. here is spending under clinton. here is how spending has dropped under president obama . these guys were not mad about george w. bush 's big spike in spending, buzz they have decided to get really mad at the guy who is fixing that, and that anger is weird enough on its own terms. it's weird enough that this republican analysis of this problem is so divorced from reality. but what today's news reminded us is it's not just the analysis that is weird, it's also the purpose of the analysis, what they are using this cockamamy backwards analysis to justify that is really deeply strange. for decades, raising the debt ceiling was something that congress has been willing to do. since the presidency of fdr, congress has to do. since fdr, congress voted to raise it literally dozens of times. the way we run the country, for generations, you may not like it. it is how we use the debt ceiling, we have raised it 89 times just between 1939 and 2010 . the only time we haven't had to raise it in recent years was at the very end of the clinton administration when we started to run a budget surplus , remember that? but other than that, it happens as a matter of course. it is routine, but in 2010 , the republicans decided they wouldn't do it anymore. and in the standoff, where they said they wouldn't do it again, even though it was done with presidents before them, they were not going to do it. the country could default on its debts, that was an economic disaster . check it out. this is job growth , month to month in the year 2011 . during that time when it is weirdly suppressed, oh, yeah, it is the fight over the debt ceiling. so when you hear others say oh yeah, it shouldn't be an issue. they're looking back at 2011 and saying that is why. the chamber of commerce fights president obama on everything. they want them to just raise the debt ceiling, because not doing it is a ridiculous, self-inflicted economic wound. well, today, republicans decided that we're not going to do in 2013 what we did in 2011 . they decided we wouldn't have artificially depressed job growth and economic pain caused by washington for one period of the year like we did in 2011 . they decided today that we're now going to have that all the time. we'll do it all the time. yeah, today, the house passed a bill to raise the debt ceiling, but they want to have us hit it again in a few months. they raised the debt ceiling for a few months, instead of just do this once for the year or for two years or in some more permanent way to avoid the self-inflicted economic wound they voted today that we should do this always, every few months, because remember, yeah, obama is a big spender . democrats are going along with it, slowly, but this is what republicans want to be the new normal. whether or not you think there is constitutional support for trying to take this decision out of the hands with congress, what just happened today was the reason why people want to take this particular decision out of the hands of this congress. for decades, congress was capable of handling this decision. apparently that is not the case anymore. [