$4.4 Trillion

The Wall Street Journal editors remind us:

CBO’s mid-year review largely reinforces the bad news we already knew—to wit, that spending has exploded since Democrats took over Congress in 2007, first with the acquiescence of George W. Bush and then into hyperdrive after Mr. Obama entered the White House.

Here’s a plan for the deficit commission: just return to the 2005 level of spending. Civilization as we know it would not end. The government would still deliver essential services and very much more.

True, Bush could have done more to curb spending. But really, there is no comparison between the administrations:

The annual average increase in domestic, nondefense discretionary spending—on the likes of education, food stamps, and things other than Medicaid, Medicare and Social Security—was 6.4% from 1999-2008. Yet in 2009, nondefense discretionary spending rose by 11.2%, and in 2010 it will grow by another 14.7%.

“We should be so lucky” should be the response the next time Obama threatens that the GOP will return us to the Bush era.