Lies, Direct from the President’s Mouth

From Bush’s MTP appearance this morning:

RUSSERT: But your base conservatives, and listen to Rush Limbaugh, the Heritage Foundation, CATO Institute, they’re all saying you are the biggest spender in American history.

BUSH: Well, they’re wrong. If you look at the appropriations bills that were passed under my watch, in the last year of President Clinton, discretionary spending was up 15 percent, and ours have steadily declined.

Hmm. Seems easy enough to verify. Here is the level of discretionary spending over the past 5 years, from the CBO:

1999: $572 bn

2000: $615 bn, +7.5% change

2001: $649 bn, +5.5% change

2002: $734 bn, +13.0% change

2003: $826 bn, +12.5% change

Oops. Unless “the last year of President Clinton” was 2002, I think Bush is quite incorrect. The real question is how he can get away with lying about things that are so obviously and verifiably untrue.


UPDATE: I’ve written a new post about this, with a bit of new information and a bit of new analysis. The result is that it’s starting to look like the OMB may have gotten something seriously wrong.