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Viewpoint on the surge in federal government spending by the United States

Montreal, March 20, 2009 – We often hear that the Republican presidency of George W. Bush was characterized by a reduction in the size of government and that this is a classic example of the failure of laissez-faire economics. However, a simple examination of spending by the United States Government during the eight years of the Bush administration (see the Figures and Table on the Institute’s website) shows clearly that this is a huge myth, far removed from reality.

It can be seen that military spending rose enormously during this period, especially in the years following the attacks of September 11, 2001. But a less well known fact is that non-military spending also rose at a pace well above inflation (with a real increase of more than 25% from 2000 to 2008).

The giant budget deficit left by the Bush administration was thus not in any way caused solely by tax cuts. It can also be stated that, long before its reaction to the current financial crisis, the government of George W. Bush was highly interventionist.

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The Montreal Economic Institute (MEI) is an independent, non-partisan, non-profit research and educational organization. Through studies and conferences, the MEI informs public debates in Quebec and Canada by suggesting wealth-generating reforms based on market mechanisms.

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For more information or interview requests, contact: André Valiquette, Director of communications, Montreal Economic Institute, Tel.: (514) 273-0969 ext. 2225 / Cell: (514) 574-0969 / Email: avaliquette (@iedm.org)

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