Mention anything about the US's huge debt, deficit, and debt-ceiling problem, and fans of both political teams will immediately begin shouting at each other.
Republicans howl that the whole problem is the fault of President Obama, who exploded federal government spending the moment he took office.
Democrats, meanwhile, blame massive increase in federal government spending during the Bush years and the triumphant assertions by Republicans during those years that "deficits don't matter."
So, what's the truth?
They're both right. (And wrong. And, on the Republican side, hypocritical.)
Federal government spending has risen under President Obama, mostly because of the $800 billion stimulus designed to offset the massive recession he inherited from President Bush. But the increase in federal spending under Obama is dwarfed by the colossal increase under President Bush.
Don't believe it?
Let's go to the chart.
Here's Federal Expenditures from 2000-2011 (quarterly figures, annualized), from the St. Louis Fed:
From 2009 to 2011, meanwhile, under President Obama, federal spending has risen by $600 billion, from $3.2 trillion a year to $3.8 trillion a year. It has also now begun to decline.
In other words, federal government spending under President Bush increased 2X as much as it has under President Obama.
So, who's responsible for the explosion in federal spending?