We’ve all seen or heard about the Market Watch piece by Rex Nutting:

Almost everyone believes that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending, an “inferno” of spending that threatens our jobs, our businesses and our children’s future. Even Democrats seem to think it’s true.

But it didn’t happen. Although there was a big stimulus bill under Obama, federal spending is rising at the slowest pace since Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.

And the graphs that follow made it through Facebook like a wildfire:

Pretty startling.  If true, and Politifact says it mostly is, it paints a significantly different picture than most people have come to accept.  And to be sure, there have been some herculean efforts to point out that Nutting, Obama and Politifact may not be explaining the whole reality.  For example, the stimulus is charged to Bush but the repayment of that stimulus is credited to Obama.  At the very least, the two actions should be charged to the same guy, either one seems fair.  Then there’s the fiscal activities that took place during Bush’s fiscal year but that Obama passed.  Those should not be given to Bush but rather to Obama.

However, there’s been something gnawing at me during this whole debate and until I read a piece this morning by Dan Mitchell.

He makes a great case that while Obama IS a big government big spender, it’s not as if the Republicans are innocent.

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France will have a new President.

Yesterday in France, the Socialist Francois Hollande defeated the sitting French President:

…Hollande defeated centre-right incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy on Sunday…

It seems that the President-elect ran on a platform of austerity-rejection:

Hollande has promised more government spending and higher taxes — including a 75-percent income tax on the rich — and wants to re-negotiate a European treaty on trimming budgets to avoid more debt crises of the kind facing Greece.

I’ve always believed the left when they claim that Europe is undergoing a time of “fiscal austerity.”  Then I bumped in Coyote, who questioned it:

It is almost impossible to spot this mythical austerity beast in action in these European countries.  Sure, they talk about austerity, and deficit reduction, and spending increases, but if such talk were reality we would have a balanced budget in this country.  If one looks at actual government spending in European nations, its impossible to find a substantial decline.  Perhaps they are talking about tax increases, which I would oppose and have been occurring, but I doubt the Left is complaining about tax increases.

Seriously, I would post the chart showing the spending declines but I can’t because I keep following links and have yet to find one.  I keep seeing quotes about “commitment” to austerity, but no actual evidence of such.

So, I thought I would look.

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So, North Carolina has taken center stage in recent weeks.  A Hoke County school teacher noticed that a child’s bag-lunch didn’t meet proscribed nutritional guidelines.  In one case, the bag-lunch contained a turkey and cheese sandwich, apples and apple juice.  Missing was the vegetable.  The lunch was either replaced or supplemented with a school provided hot lunch.  Further adding to the outcry was the fact that the child didn’t eat the veggies provided; she only ate the chicken nuggets.

I think this is the classic case of what folks mean when they say that government is too big.

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