Media Matters Cites Ludwig von Mises Institute as a Source on Obama's Spending Record

Ludwig von Mises (Left)
I was reading the latest posts from Media Matters for America for the latest conservative misinformation. One article was discussing the Wall Street Journal's MarketWatch article by Rex Nutting regarding the myth of Obama's spending spike. Media Matters analyzed several right wing false claims made in response about Nutting's article. As usual, they did their objective researching and sourcing. One of the false claims they debunked was that former President George W. Bush didn't sign off the budget for 2009. Thus they say that President Obama is responsible for it. Oh yes he did.

That blue peak on top of 09 is all President Obama authorized to be spent for that year.
 As Media Matters Documented:
Fiscal Year 2009 Was More Than One-Fourth Over Before Obama Even Took Office. The federal government's fiscal year begins on October 1, ends on September 30, and is designated by the year in which it ends. Therefore, the 2009 fiscal year began on October 1, 2008, more than three months before Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009. [U.S. Senate, accessed 5/25/12]

Bush Signed A Fiscal Year 2009 Appropriations Bill That Included More Than $600 Billion In Spending. In September 2008, Bush signed H.R. 2638, a bill that consolidated three of the 12 annual appropriations bills and provided more than $600 billion in spending, including $487.7 billion for the Defense Department, $40 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, and $72.9 billion for military construction and Veterans Affairs. [H.R. 2638, 9/30/08]

Bush Signed Appropriations For The Rest Of The Government That Covered Almost Half Of The 2009 Fiscal Year. H.R. 2638 included appropriations for the rest of the federal government from October 1, 2008, through March 6, 2009, more than five months of the 2009 fiscal year. [H.R. 2638, 9/30/08]
Without Counting TARP, Other Bailouts, And Other Emergency Spending, Bush Had Proposed To Spend $3.1 Trillion In 2009. From the Ludwig von Mises Institute:
The federal fiscal year lasts from October 1 to September 30 (It ended on June 30 prior to 1976). So, the 2009 fiscal year ended in September of 2009, eight months after Bush left office. When Obama was sworn into office, Bush had already submitted his 3.1 trillion dollar 2009 budget almost a year earlier. He then signed the stack of resulting appropriations bills submitted to him by Congress throughout 2008 which authorized the federal spending that would take place once the 2009 FY actually began in October. Then, in the fall of 2008, Bush supported and signed additional spending bills providing for various bailouts and stimulus programs that marked the end of his presidency, and which would show up as spending in 2009. Needless to say, the already-enormous 2009 budget that Bush had submitted in early 2008 was not totally reflective of the full impact of the huge spending increases that would eventually be authorized by Bush. Bush's original budget was $3.1 trillion, but once one adds in all the bailouts and stimulus spending also supported by Bush, the number is actually much larger, and this is the number that shows up in the spending figures now being attributed to Obama for FY2009. [Ludwig von Mises Institute, 3/21/11]
The last source they listed above is the Ludwig von Mises Institute, the Austrian School of economics and libertarian political and social theory. Its a very free market think tank with a strong streak of anarcho-capitalism. Media Matters lists the actual bills Bush signed for spending in 2009 as their primary sources along with a free market advocate think tank as their secondary source affirming the facts from the primary sources. I see sourcing the Mises Institute is another way of Media Matters saying to right wing readers that if you won't listen to us, maybe you'll listen to someone who thinks like you. That's just speculation on my part. 

In the beginning of the Mises Institute's article, the author Ryan McMaken notes how President Obama's opponents mislead by pointing the finger at him for spending he didn't authorize with his pen:
Leftist political humorist Calvin Trillin once noted, “sooner or later, every president makes you nostalgic for his predecessor.” Now, halfway through Obama’s term, it looks like the conservative pundits are happy to help this process along as best they can. One such tactic they’re using these days is to blame Obama for some of the massive increases in federal spending that occurred during the eight years of Bush’s two terms. A Google search for “federal spending under Obama” and related terms yields a wide variety of articles and media stories (largely from Foxnews) blaming Obama for the massive spending increases that occurred during the 2009 fiscal year. This is very clever of course, since few people out in the public understand how federal budgeting works, but the fact is that the spending that occurred during the 2009 fiscal year is almost totally the result of appropriations bills signed by George W. Bush during the 2008 calendar year. By shifting Bush’s 2009 spending to Obama, one can then understate the amount of federal spending authorized by Bush while inflating the spending authorized by Obama. This then helps perpetuate the myth that one party is more “responsible” with taxpayer funds than the other party. [Ludwig von Mises Institute, 3/21/11]
Repeating this misinformation is due to both willful ignorance and deliberate unethical propaganda by politicians. The Mises Institute is a good place to get libertarian insight on economics. I don't recommend them to decided what our public policy should be though. It's only for people who don't believe in government involvement in economics as their philosophy.

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