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Politifact: Rand Paul is right: Current federal spending is higher than historical average

The statement

"We now consume at the federal level 25 percent of the gross domestic product. Historically, we were at 20 percent. So we've taken 5 percent away from the private sector."

Rand Paul, Nov. 14, on CBS's Face the Nation


To check Paul's numbers, we turned to a historical table from the Office of Management and Budget that shows tax receipts, spending and the deficit as a percentage of GDP.

The most recent full-year figure is for 2009, and it shows that federal spending was 24.7 percent of gross domestic product, or 25 percent when rounded up. So Paul is correct.

The historical level of spending as a percentage of GDP is slightly more complicated but here, too, Paul is basically correct.


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Just a reminder: ‘Politifact’ is often more politics than facts

By: Mark Hemingway
Commentary Staff Writer
11/16/10 2:30 PM PST
You may have run across Politifact before. It’s a feature of the St. Petersburg Times that purports to fact check political statements, rating them “true” or “false.” In 2009, Politifact won a Pulitzer prize, so people put a lot of a faith and credibility in what they say. However, rather than objectively weighing the facts, Politifact is hardly above employing highly-politicized context to render judgment. The latest example of this is their recent item on Rand Paul.
Here’s what Rand Paul said: “The average federal employee makes $120,000 a year. The average private employee makes $60,000 a year.”
Here are the facts: “Federal civil servants earned average pay and benefits of $123,049 in 2009 while private workers made $61,051 in total compensation, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. The data are the latest available.”
Here’s how Politifact rated Rand Paul’s statement: “False.”
Come again? The only way that Politifact can reach this conclusion is through a great deal of sophistry, which they lard on with abandon:

Read more at the San Francisco Examiner: http://www.sfexaminer.com/opinion/blogs/beltway-confidential...

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bump because I just saw

someone try to say the Federal spending was down on another website