Former CBO director and current Obama Budget Director Peter Orszag on his blog:
It is thus correct that federal spending rose by roughly 4 percentage points of GDP between 2008 and 2009 -- and it is also the case that the increase in spending has helped to stabilize the economy -- but it is wrong to attribute that increase primarily to Administration actions since it took office. The increase was already on the books when we arrived. [E.A.]While I agree the Obama administration inherited quite a bit of spending, this didn't seem quite right to me, so I went to the CBO Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2010 to 2020 and found this:
Much of the rise in outlays in 2009 came from mandatory programs. After growing by an average of about 6 percent a year from 1999 to 2008, mandatory spending (excluding net interest) soared by 31 percent ($499 billion) last year, to $2.1 trillion. Three initiatives accounted for nearly two-thirds of that increase. Outlays recorded for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) totaled $152 billion in 2009; net payments to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac accounted for another $91 billion; and fiscal stimulus legislation, the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA), increased mandatory outlays by $80 billion (largely for Medicaid, unemployment benefits, payments to Social Security beneficiaries, and supplemental nutrition assistance). [E.A].Certainly you can lay TARP and Fannie/Freddie bailouts at Bush's feet, but Mr. Orszag seems to have forgotten about the substantial contribution to increased spending by the Obama administration's stimulus bill.
If there was a case for the stimulus spending, then make the case. Don't make meaningful increases in spending then try to pawn them off on your predecessor just because he spent even more.