How else to interpret this graph?
One key fact: the author attributes the fiscal year of 2009 to Bush (while assigning the stimulus extras to Obama). Why?
The 2009 fiscal year, which Republicans count as part of Obama’s legacy, began four months before Obama moved into the White House. The major spending decisions in the 2009 fiscal year were made by George W. Bush and the previous Congress. Like a relief pitcher who comes into the game with the bases loaded, Obama came in with a budget in place that called for spending to increase by hundreds of billions of dollars in response to the worst economic and financial calamity in generations.
Seems reasonable to me, even though Obama did not try to ratchet any of it back. And in the kind of recession of 2009, he was right not to. Here's another way of looking at it:
Remember that Romney has promised to slash all taxes, and massively increase defense spending. Well: you do the math. But if you want another spending binge, just look at the first chart. It explains why a fiscal conservative like me has a hard time backing Republicans. Either they have completely switched their core DNA, or they're bullshitters. And the only way to prove they're not bullshitters is to show us the precise math: how deep must Medicare and Medicaid and core government services be cut to afford more defense spending and more tax cuts?
We await an answer.