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That Troublesome 2009 Budget

by Ryan McMaken

When one takes a closer look at federal budgets over the past decade, one is sure to notice a watershed budget year: 2009.

This was the year that federal outlays increased by a whopping 18 percent (in inflation-adjusted dollars) from the previous fiscal year.

How to interpret this budget increase, however, remains controversial because both presidents Obama and Bush are responsible for portions of the budget. the 2009 budget is bipartisanship at its worst.

Thus, when comparing budget growth between the two administrations, we have to first decide which administration gets the credit — or, more accurately, the blame — for the big spending increases in 2009 (underlying budget data is in constant 2016 dollars).1

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