So how do you explain this?
A great deal of this has to do with local and state governments slashing spending, of course, but:
Of the administrations shown, overall growth in Mr. Obama’s first three years has been the slowest. But that is largely because government spending did not accelerate as it normally does when the private sector is weak. The private sector grew faster in the first three years of the Obama administration than it did in three of the previous five administrations — the exception being Bill Clinton’s administrations, when private sector growth was more rapid. In both of George W. Bush’s terms as well as in the first three years of the George H. W. Bush administration, though, the private sector grew more slowly.
No administration has reduced aggregate government spending as a precentage of GDP as much as Obama’s in forty years. If you look at the full chart, back to George HW Bush, you reach an inescapable conclusion: the biggest spenders and borrowers are Republicans and the most fiscally conservative presidents have been Democrats. Given the last two decades, the Tea Party, if they really want to shrink government, should be voting for Obama.