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BUSH: Spending Higher Under Clinton

Bush: “If you look at the appropriations bills that were passed under my watch, in the last year of President Clinton, discretionary spending was up 15 percent, and ours have steadily declined.” [“Meet the Press”, 2/8/04]

FACT: Accounting Gimmicks Created Illusion of Clinton Spending.

Clinton Spending Artificially Increased. After the Bush administration took over, Congress hid FY 2001 spending in the FY 2000 budget in order to abide by spending caps that applied to 2001.These moves made the increase in spending negotiated in Clinton’s final budget artificially high. [Washington Post, 12/16/03]

Majority of Spending Increases Under Bush Not for Defense and Homeland Security. Despite Bush’s claims that the recession and war are responsible for the budget deficit, only 45 percent of all new federal spending since 2001 has been related to defense and the 9/11 attacks. The remaining 55 percent was spent on programs unrelated to homeland security and the war on terrorism. These unrelated programs have grown by 11 percent, by $51 billion, since 2001, the fastest rates since before President Clinton came to office. [Backgrounder, Heritage Foundation, 11/13/03]