- Clinton, 3.2 percent per year
- Obama, 4.0 percent per year
- Bush Jr, 6.1 percent per year
- Reagan, 9.1 percent per year
Such monumental reforms, however necessary, will not happen in a heartbeat. Not even in a presidential term. We might get started on them under a firmly committed two-term president, but until that happens it is time for Congress to revisit its own spending restraints. The easiest way for them to do this is to go back tosome sort of statutory spending control. That is not going to be easy, given that they have thrown out the debt ceiling (formally suspended - don't expect it to ever return), done away with the sequester (a stupid idea but better than nothing) and eliminated the IPAB spending-control board in Medicare (never active but at least an institutional marker of spending restraint).