FreedomWorks Foundation Content

Scorecard on Government Spending

Recently, President Obama reiterated the necessity for increased government “investing” in our economy.  The way the President’s argument is shaped it seems like government has been standing out of the way, back in the shadows, just waiting to emerge amidst the calamity created by an unfettered deregulated private sector.  The only way we will be competitive in the successive years, of course, is if we spend more taxpayer money on liberal pet projects and “invest” in special interest groups slobbering to indulge in the government subsidy trough.

Unfortunately, the exact opposite is true.  Government “investment” has been in overdrive and the special interest group gluttony is at an all-time high.  Government spending as a proportion of GDP has risen to 38.9 percent.  U.S. government outlays and expenditures increased 20 percent (or roughly $1 trillion) from 2008-2009, while GDP growth remains miniscule and the unemployment rate remains hovering at or above 9 percent.

As The Heritage Foundation/ Wall Street Journal 2011 Index of Economic Freedom clearly states:

“The U.S. economy faces enormous challenges. The government’s recent spending spree has led to fragile business confidence and crushing public debt. Interventionist responses to the economic slowdown have eroded economic freedom and long-term competitiveness. Drastic legislative changes in health care and financial regulations have retarded job creation and injected substantial uncertainty into business investment planning.”

The report also shows that the United States has slipped to number 9 out of a possible 178 on their list of economically free countries. The 2011 report shows the U.S. economy slipped to a 77.8 percent rating, down from 78 percent in 2010, all while the clarion call for “investment” continues to be trumpeted.

How come the administration has not released a scorecard explaining how wonderful the government spending binge has done for the economy? Oh, wait that would entail the suspension of reality.  Investment in that project seems too monumental a task to accomplish and with little potential for return.