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Here on Planet Earth, President Barack Obama has reduced total federal expenditures as a share of the economy from 25.5 percent when he took office to 24.7 percent in the last quarter.

Total federal spending as percentage of GDP since Reagan

Click to enlarge (Data: GDP and federal spending.)

George W. Bush, on the other hand, raised federal spending from 19.4 percent of GDP to 25.5 percent. Or, as House Speaker John Boehner puts it, President Obama is a coward who wants to cut spending but is too scared of voters to do anything about it.

House Speaker John Boehner Tuesday repeatedly challenged the president's willingness to go against his own party on issues that include reforms to social programs and spending.

"I think he'd like to deal with it [fiscal problems], but to do the kind of heavy lifting that needs to be done, I don't think he's got the guts to do it,” the Ohio Republican said in a meeting with a small group of reporters for nearly an hour Tuesday morning. “He understands there is a spending problem. He understands that we need changes and reforms, and we need to solve these problems."

Sure, Speaker Boehner's attack wasn't grounded in reality, but let's give him some credit: at least he didn't accuse the president of being a secret Soviet apparatchik hellbent on destroying the American way of life. Instead, he basically accused the president of being a closeted Bowles-Simpson acolyte. That's progress, isn't it? Well, sort of.

Originally posted to The Jed Report on Tue Feb 12, 2013 at 10:37 AM PST.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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