When President George W. Bush entered the White House in January 2001, the federal government had total revenues of slightly more than $2.03 trillion and expenditures of $1.79 trillion, leaving a budget surplus of slightly less than $240 billion.
The following graph traces the growth in federal government tax receipts and expenditures and resulting surpluses or deficits over the last eight years.
Source: The 2008 Statistical Abstract, U.S. Census Bureau
Since 2000, government spending has increased by more than 55 percent. Even when adjusted for inflation in constant (2000) dollars, federal expenditures have risen by just short of 29 percent. During this same period, real Gross Domestic Product (GDP) has only increased by 17.3 percent. Thus, over the last eight years real government spending has gone up nearly twice as fast as the actual U.S. economy.
When the Clinton Administration left the White House, federal spending was 18.4 percent of GDP. In 2008, at the close of the Bush Administration, federal expenditure is 20.5 percent of GDP, for an 11.4 percent increase over the last eight years.
Washington has run deficits almost every year during the Bush Administration. Total federal debt has doubled and has risen from 58 percent to 66 percent of GDP, for a 14 percent increase in U.S. taxpayers’ debt burden in terms of GDP.