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You Know Those GDP Numbers from This AM? This Devastating Chart Illustrates Why They're Not As Good as the Spin


The U.S. economy expanded at a 2 percent annual rate from July through September, TheBlaze reported this morning.

Unsurprisingly, a few in the media have tried to spin this number, the first in three third-quarter GDP reports, in a positive light. But it a 2 percent increase really something to get excited about?

Well, yes and no. An increase of any amount is always welcome. However, when you take into account the fact that we were repeatedly assured by the White House that massive government spending (i.e. the stimulus) would lead to economic growth, a return of 2 percent for Q3 2012 isn't very good. In fact, it's the opposite.

To help you visualize what we're talking about, here's a chart from the Senate Budget Committee Republican staff under Ranking Member Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) illustrating the difference between the economic growth promised by the White House and what we actually got:

From the senator’s office:

Soon after he took office, President Obama’s Office of Management and Budget submitted to Congress his budget, which included projections of future economic growth under the President’s plan. Specifically, OMB projected that annual growth in 2012 would be a robust 4.6%—nearly three full percentage points higher than what the nation is now experiencing ... In every successive year, the Administration continued to dramatically overestimate the growth its policies would produce—with its 2009, 2010, and 2011 projections for this year averaging out to 4.1%.

During the first two years of the President’s term—when his party had supermajority control of both chambers of Congress—President Obama was able to enact virtually every legislative item on his agenda. Chief among these were his signature policy proposals: a near trillion-dollar stimulus package, the Dodd-Frank regulation bill, and the $2.6 trillion health care law.

But the Administration’s other lesser-known economic priorities have also been widely implemented.


To fund this surge in spending, government borrowing has risen by more than $5 trillion since 2009, with gross federal debt now more than $16 trillion.

Unfortunately, this deluge in federal spending and rulemaking has failed to deliver the economic growth that the Administration predicted would result. n fact, independent studies and analyses, including from the Congressional Budget Office, show our huge debt weakens economic growth. Making matters worse and more dangerous, the leaders of the President’s party in the Senate have, in the words of Politico, “defiantly refused to lay out their own vision for how to deal with federal debt and spending” for the past three and a half years.

Follow Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) on Twitter

An earlier version of this story included a quote regarding a White House promise different from the one illustrated in Sen. Sessions' graph. It has since been removed and this story has been updated.

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