If only it were true

George Bush during the second debate:

Non-homeland, non-defense discretionary spending was raising at 15 percent a year when I got into office. And today it’s less than 1 percent, because we’re working together to try to bring this deficit under control.

Kevin Drum makes it simple.

Here’s the truth about non-defense discretionary spending over the past six administrations:


Nixon/Ford: 6.8% per year

Carter: 2.0% per year

Reagan: -1.3% per year

Bush 1: 4.0% per year

Clinton: 2.5% per year

Bush Jr: 8.2% per year

All percentages are adjusted for inflation. The chart on the right shows raw figures for the past three administrations (from the Congressional Budget Office).