Obama vs. Bush on vacation days

President Vacation Days

One requirement of being a member of the modern-day Republican Party is that you can’t let facts impede any popular GOP talking points. In debates about both serious or silly matters alike, new evidence or undeniable facts never stop Republicans from continuing to make outrageous claims.

A serious accusation that the political right likes to make about President Obama is that he is responsible for blowing up government spending and raising taxes through the roof. The facts? Government spending under the Obama administration is increasing at the slowest rate since Eisenhower was president, and the deficit has just about been cut in half. Oh, and taxes are the lowest they’ve been in over 50 years.

One silly charge that radical Republicans like to make about President Obama, particularly when his annual summer vacation rolls around each year, is that he spends an astronomical amount of his presidency vacationing.

To put things in perspective for my Republican friends, I have created a graph showing just how silly their argument is. This is the amount of vacation days Presidents Obama and Bush took through the same 5-year mark of their presidencies.

Yes, that’s right: George W. Bush took roughly 4 times more days off than President Obama at the same point in his second term. Where were my GOP friends when Dubya was vacationing his way through the presidency?

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2 thoughts on “Obama vs. Bush on vacation days

  1. The facts? Government spending under the Obama administration is increasing at the slowest rate since Eisenhower was president, and the deficit has just about been cut in half. Oh, and taxes are the lowest they’ve been in over 50 years.

    Where are the numbers? If you had $1.4T to your first budget, it’s pretty easy to cut that in half eventually.

    • I assume this explanation will be difficult for you to understand, because I’m certain you’ve taken the GOP bait that Obama is some big government spender. You want numbers when it comes to spending under Obama, so I will give some to you.

      Slowest increase in spending since Ike: I’m not sure how you haven’t read the reports on this, but something tells me you probably shield yourself from anything that challenges your ideology. If you know much about presidential budgets, you would know that the first budget of any new president belongs to the previous administration. Whether it’s Barack Obama, George W. Bush, or Bill Clinton, each president is stuck with their predecessor’s budget. That’s a fact. So in 2009, Obama’s first year in office, spending increased 17.9 percent from the previous year. That is a huge increase in spending, but it was the previous president’s budget. Either way, the GOP pushed the lie that Obama owned this spending, and their followers took the bait – and so did you.

      So once we close the book on George W. Bush, what happens in the subsequent years? In 2010, spending dropped 1.8 percent. In 2011, spending rose just over 4 percent. 2012 saw an increase in spending of less than 1 percent, and 2013 is set to see spending drop by nearly 1.5 percent. These aren’t my numbers. These are the CBO numbers.

      So, again, spending has risen, like under just about all presidents, but it has risen at the slowest rate since Dwight D. Eisenhower.

      Now, onto the deficit. Since 2010 is the first year we will look at (as I explained above), you will see a budget deficit of just over $1.2 trillion, a drop from the previous Bush deficit, but still very high. This year, the CBO estimates the deficit will fall substantially to a little over $600 billion. If you’re keeping score at home, that’s roughly half of what the deficit was during the first official Obama spending year. You can frame these numbers however you’d like, but the deficits been cut in half due to an improving economy, more tax revenue, and substantial spending cuts made over the past four years.

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