Under Bill Clinton, income tax rates rose. In fact, his critics reviled him for enacting "the biggest tax increase in American history." Yet the tax hike did not open the spending floodgates, writes Steve Chapman. In inflation-adjusted terms, federal outlays grew very slowly, and as a share of the economy, they shrank dramatically—from 21.4 percent to 18.2 percent, about what they were during the Eisenhower administration.
Total federal expenditures grew by just 1.5 percent per year, inflation-adjusted—40 percent less than under Reagan and 70 percent less than under George W. Bush.