ByÂ Devin Dwyer, ABC News
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. â€” At a fundraiser for his re-election campaign in Denver tonight, President Obama set out to upend conventional Republican wisdom that his administration has been defined by excessive government spending.
â€œIâ€™m running to pay down our debt in a way thatâ€™s balanced and responsible. After inheriting a $1 trillion deficit, I signed $2 trillion of spending cuts into law,â€ he told a crowd of donors at the Hyatt Regency. â€œMy opponent wonâ€™t admit it, but itâ€™s starting to appear in places, like real liberal outlets, like the Wall Street Journal: Since Iâ€™ve been president, federal spending has risen at the lowest paceÂ in nearly 60 years. Think about that.â€
Obama was referring to anÂ analysis released this weekÂ by Rex Nutting, a reporter for CBS MarketWatch who isÂ also affiliated with the Wall Street Journal. Nutting concluded that Obama has presided over the slowest growth in federal spending in decades.
â€œGovernment spending under Obama, including his signature stimulus bill, is rising at a 1.4Â percentÂ annualized pace â€“ slower than at any time in nearly 60 years,â€ Nutting wrote, citing data from the Congressional Budget Office, Office of Management and Budget and an independent financial firm.
â€œThe big surge in federal spending happened in fiscal 2009, before Obama took office. Since then, spending growth has been relatively flat,â€ he wrote. â€œOver Obamaâ€™s four budget years, federal spending is on track to rise from $3.52 trillion to $3.58 trillion, an annualized increase of just 0.4 percent. There has been no huge increase in spending under the current president, despite what you hear.â€
The Obama campaign circulated Nuttingâ€™s article by email and posted it onÂ its website Tuesday.Â The president picked up on the theme again today to hammer the point home.
â€œI just point out it always goes up least under Democratic presidents. This other side, I donâ€™t know how theyâ€™ve been bamboozling folks into thinking that they are the responsible, fiscally-disciplined party. They run up these wild debts and then when we take over, weâ€™ve got to clean it up.
â€œThey point and say look how irresponsible they are. Look at the facts, look at the numbers. And now I want to finish the job â€“ in a balanced way,â€ he said, referring to his plan to reduce the deficit through a combination of spending cuts and tax hikes.
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