Depending on what baseline you use, you can generate a result that shows federal spending increases under Barack Obama to be either extremely low by historical standards, fairly high by historical standards, or several things in between. I don’t feel a ton of stake in the dispute. However you slice it, there was a big spending increase in 2009 and very small ones since then and obviously all the different appropriations represented compromises between different political actors.
But I was interested to see this ad above, in which the Obama campaign clearly wants to push for the “stingy” interpretation. Folks hoping for a full-throated defense of deficit spending in a depressed economy are not likely to see it in the 2012 campaign.