Out of Control Policy Blog

Who Needs A Recession to Stimulus Spend?

Matt Mitchell at the Mercatus Center and George Mason University put together this nifty graph showing how state and local government spending has grown at more than twice the rate of all spending in the private sector since the 1950's.  This is not stimulus, it is just a vast and rapid growth in government, far outpacing the growth in population and the economy.

The graph shows "the spending level for each year from 1950 to 2009, represented as an index using base year 1950.  Put differently, this chart compares spending by state and local governments to spending in the private sector by graphing all spending in terms of its 1950 level."

Mercatus Center govt vs private spending graph

Adrian Moore is Vice President, Policy


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