It would have been helpful if the NYT had pointed out this fact in an article that included assertions from House Speaker John Boehner that spending is out of control.

"The president got his tax hikes on January the First. The issue here is spending. Spending is out of control."

In fact, spending as a share of potential GDP is near a 30-year low and is lower than at any point in the Reagan-Bush I administrations. The chart shows federal spending as a share of GDP and as a share of the GDP projected by the Congressional Budget Office in 2008 before it recognized the impact of the collapse of the housing bubble.


Source: Congressional Budget Office.

It would have been helpful to remind readers of the actual path of government spending since many may not have not realized that Boehner was not being truthful.