Somehow, I just don't trust this chart. It seems to indicate that the ratio went DOWN during the Clinton years.
Would that be correct?
Does it include government bailouts? How are those (un) accounted for?
How sensitive is this measure to fluctuations during periods of high inflation, where the term "now" means different things for the different measures...?
I'd like to see a better breakdown... how is GDP being measured now? Has it been measured in the same way since 1903?
What spending portion is human services related, how much is war related, how much of it is bail out related, and how much is just sheer overhead?
In general, the government has a long standing policy of using statistics to conceal the truth:http://www.shadowstats.com/index.php
(pretty OMG site when you have a go at it, btw)
........... so..... well, it's not immediately clear what that graphic could possibly mean. It can be somewhat inferred what it is meant to be perceived to mean, of course.
... it is meant to be a sort of pop-gun concept at the ready for those that are trying to make an argument about government spending.
JUST my take.
yes, now you have it. You start with top level data then you pull it apart, challenge the methodology.
Your posting here is at the level of a seasoned policy veteran
I did a little bit of drilling down, looking at a different source, and I think it suggested that most of the government (federal, state, local) spending increase as a percent of GDP is at the state and local level, which is an interesting and surprising result...and supports Ted's hypothesis that the federal budget crisis may indeed be manufactured, if the data holds up
most of the time one is facing an apples and oranges comparison, stale data, biased sources
Often, it is the balance of power in congress that drives spending, more than the presidency, as congress originates money bills, the president can only veto.