May 26th, 2012
09:18 AM ET

Letters to the President #1223: 'It figures'

Reporter's Note: President Obama gets a letter from me every single day. I’m a giving sort.

Dear Mr. President,

So it seems like the whole town is in a tizzy over this analysis showing that maybe you’re not the wild, free spending, big government type that some of your opponents claim. Or maybe you are. Or maybe the answer lies somewhere in the middle.

Right away you can see the problem: In Washington, no matter how hard someone tries to nail down actual facts, someone else is always standing in the wings ready to say, “hold on a second.”

I would like to think that numbers would be exempt from this sort of thing. After all, if two plus two is four, how hard can it be to figure out if one president is spending more than another? Apparently, however, the answer is: very hard. It all depends on what is counted as “your” spending, and how we compare it to the spending of others, and yada yada yada.

For example, I heard one pundit say that if the Tea Partiers had not beaten the heck out of a spending plan your Democrats wanted you would clearly be spending more than other presidents, not less…or something like that. It was kind of hard to follow, but suffice to say he was suggesting that you should not get credit for something you were forced to do.

Kind of like I tell my kids: If I have to tell you three times to make your bed, you’ll get no points for finally doing it.

So what do you think? Are you spending less than other presidents? And if so, how did that work out? Seems like everything in the world just costs more and more and more…I can’t imagine that running a country would be any different. Ha!

Call if you can.