White House press secretary Jay Carney ripped GOP criticism about spending under the Obama administration, calling it “BS.”
Carney also said reporting on the GOP criticism without exploring the counter-argument is “a sign of sloth and laziness” during an exchange Wednesday with reporters on Air Force One.
Carney, a former reporter, read a passage from an article by Rex Nutting at MarketWatch called “The Obama spending binge never happened.”
The article says that spending under the Obama administration has grown more slowly than at any point since the 1950s, and that claims to the contrary are due to a misunderstanding of how to read federal budget data.
“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,” Nutting says in the article.
Carney said reporting GOP claims that there is an unprecedented spending binge, and not reporting this opposing view, is a sign of “sloth and laziness” on the part of reporters. He then said the Bush administration’s “tax cuts for the rich” were the reason the “red ink was gushing” when President Obama came into office.
“The president has demonstrated significant fiscal restraint,” Carney continued. “Of all the falsehoods told about … President Obama, the biggest whopper is the one about his reckless spending spree. It didn’t happen.”
James Pethokoukis, a financial columnist for the conservative American Enterprise Institute, countered this claim with a blog of his own: “Actually, the Obama spending binge really did happen.”
The Pethokoukis analysis breaks down the administration’s spending as a percentage of gross domestic product, which would make the last four years the most profligate since World War II.
Obama traveled to Colorado Springs, Colo., on Wednesday to deliver a commencement address at the Air Force Academy.