“Obviously, the spending increases are dramatically more,” he said. “That tendency is one that all presidents and all Congresses tend to follow. … There may be efforts around the margin to reduce the deficit. But it’s not really serious when you’re talking about multitrillion dollar increases in new spending.”
Republicans also aren’t innocent when it comes to spending when they’re in power, Bydlak said.
“If you sort of sum up the estimates provided by the Congressional Budget Office, Trump signed into law about just shy of $580 billion during his first two years in office,” Bydlak said. “To put that into context, that’s roughly comparable to what we saw [on average for each two-year Congress] during the last six years of the Obama presidency.”
That number then exploded during the COVID-19 crisis when former President Donald Trump and the divided Congress approved several trillion dollars in emergency spending. “Literally the Trump presidency spent more in four years than Obama spent in eight,” Bydlak said.
But even with the pandemic crisis phase waning, Democrats didn’t dial back on the spending when they took over in 2021.
“There are two things that have been, until recently, the kind of big signature achievements of the Biden presidency,” Bydlak said, referring to the Rescue Plan and the infrastructure bill. “Those two bills alone were literally putting Biden nearly on the path to spend more in his first year than Trump spent his entire time in office. … We’re close to the point where Biden’s spending in his two years in office is essentially even with Trump’s last two years in office, which included all of his … various COVID packages.”
Bydlak added: “There’s a difference between spending at the height of a pandemic when we were basically seeing a massive decrease in demand vs. spending now where we’re seeing kind of rampant inflation.”