Are Mark Thoma and Justin Wolfers willing to do anything for politics?

Andrew Sullivan is easily deceived by a figure that is being disseminated by Mr. Wolfers and Mr. Thoma. The problem with this graph should be pretty obvious: using the first quarter of 2009 as the base already bakes into the base the Stimulus, a $410 billion spending bill loaded with pork barrel projects that Obama signed, and the half of the TARP spending that Obama requested Bush to release. All that new spending was approved during the first quarter of 2009.

Going from 2009 to 2012 assumes that Obama isn't responsible for any of the increase from 2008 to 2009. Going from the first quarter to first quarter, also blames Bush II for the increase during the Obama first quarter.



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