Finally, a slideshow worth visiting. While Federal spending in both absolute and inflation-adjusted terms has indeed increased over the past 30 years, so too has the U.S. population… and, naturally, GDP. When Federal spending is viewed as a portion of total GDP it’s actually been declining for much of the past 30 years. Even the economic crisis-related stimulus and spending increases in 2008 and 2009 were barely enough to bump total Federal spending as a percentage of GDP above 1985 levels, and keep in mind those increases were also fueled by crisis-related reductions in GDP over that same time period.
---Kevin DePew, Minyanville, today (nb - slideshow at above link)