You wouldn't know it by listening to the common beltway "wisdom," but under President Obama's tenure in the White House, the federal government has actually gotten smaller.
That's what Rachel Maddow said on her show last night. She demonstrated that thesis with graphs based on information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
According to the data, under the last three Republican presidents, and President Clinton, the number of federal employees increased.
And when there were economic recessions, the federal workforce grew under both Bush's and Reagan.
But then when you look at the graph tracking the number of federal employees under Obama, the graph drops sharply.
Just don't expect the beltway news media and Republicans to stop telling the tale of out of Obama's out of control spending and his growing of the federal government.
"We have a spending problem" so says the Republican and the reporter writes it down and parrots that phrase in her story.
The facts can never get in the way of "common wisdom."
It's also probably not a coincidence that the United States ranks near the bottom in terms of education. It's a lot easier to manipulate people who can barely read and perform basic math.