WASHINGTON -- White House Press Secretary Jay Carney had some advice for reporters on Wednesday when it comes to covering President Barack Obama's record on spending: "Don't buy into the B.S."
During a press gaggle aboard Air Force One, Carney read aloud from a MarketWatch story that says "the biggest whopper" being told about Obama is that he has been on a reckless spending spree since taking office. The Tuesday article, titled "Obama Spending Binge Never Happened," says it is patently false to claim that Obama has presided over a massive increase in federal spending. To the contrary, the article says, the reality is that spending is rising at its slowest pace since President Dwight Eisenhower brought the Korean War to an end in the 1950s.
"That means that the rate of ... federal spending increase is lower under President Obama than all of his predecessors since Dwight Eisenhower, including all of his Republican predecessors. That is a fact not often noted in the press and certainly never mentioned by the Republicans," Carney said. "I think it is simply a fact that despite the enormous challenges that this country faced when the president took office ... this president has demonstrated significant fiscal restraint."
Carney, a former reporter and later the Washington bureau chief for Time magazine, then suggested that reporters who don't push back on GOP attacks on Obama's spending record aren't very good at their jobs.
"Do not buy into the B.S. that you hear about spending and fiscal constraint with regard to this administration," he said. "I think doing so is a sign of sloth and laziness."
Carney added that the federal government has gotten smaller under only two presidents in the post-war era, and both were Democrats: Presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.
"Next time you are lectured by a Republican member of Congress who voted for all of the budget-busting measures under the previous administration," he said, "remind them of that record on my behalf."