This  is not good.
WASHINGTON - George W. Bush, despite all his recent bravado about being an apostle of small government and budget-slashing, is the biggest spending president since Lyndon B. Johnson. In fact, he's arguably an even bigger spender than LBJ.
"He's a big government guy," said Stephen Slivinski, the director of budget studies at Cato Institute, a libertarian research group.
The numbers are clear, credible and conclusive, added David Keating, the executive director of the Club for Growth, a budget-watchdog group.
"He's a big spender," Keating said. "No question about it."
Take almost any yardstick and Bush generally exceeds the spending of his predecessors.
When adjusted for inflation, discretionary spending - or budget items that Congress and the president can control, including defense and domestic programs, but not entitlements such as Social Security and Medicare - shot up at an average annual rate of 5.3 percent during Bush's first six years, Slivinski calculates.
That tops the 4.6 percent annual rate Johnson logged during his 1963-69 presidency. By these standards, Ronald Reagan was a tightwad; discretionary spending grew by only 1.9 percent a year on his watch.
Let's keep in mind that this happened WITH a Republican congress to work with. Now Bush doesn't get all the blame, as Congress has to pass the budgets...but he certainly could have found his veto pen much sooner in his tenure.
This is pretty much why the GOP doesn't win the "fiscally accountable" tag in most public opinion polls anymore which, along with "national security" and "low taxes" was the lone non-social issue categories where the GOP would out poll Democrats.
There's a lesson there.