Late last week, the Ben Quayle for Congress campaign released a new YouTube video featuring the young Republican blasting the government for supposedly “loading massive debt on the backs of Americans so the politicians can keep spending money on their agenda.”
The video begins with Quayle saying that, while “numbers can be boring, every American can and must understand the numbers I’m about to describe.” He warns that “America is today spending well over 14.5 trillion dollars a year”:
QUAYLE: Numbers can be boring, but every American can and must understand the numbers I’m about to describe. In the thirty years between 1978 and 2008, our nation faced and met every peril of war, recession, crime, and other foreign and domestic difficulty. Across those three decades, government spending as a share of GDP, or gross domestic product, varied between 32 percent and 37 percent. Today, just two years after Barack Obama was elected president, government share of GDP in America is 44 percent. Government in America is today spending well over 14.5 trillion dollars a year. And since government can’t possibly collect that much money from the people, it’s loading massive debt on the backs of the next generation so politicians can go on spending your money on their agendas.
The problem with Quayle’s video is that it appears that even Quayle himself doesn’t “understand the numbers” he describes. The last budget signed into law by President Obama laid out a $3.5 trillion budget for the federal government — nowhere near the $14.5 trillion Quayle claims is being spent. Current US GDP hovers slightly above $14.6 trillion, meaning that, for the government to be spending 44 percent of GDP, it would have to spend $6.4 trillion, almost double what it is actually spending. Perhaps Quayle thinks the US GDP is $32.9 trillion, which is what it would have to be for federal government spending to account for $14.5 trillion in spending a year and 44 percent of GDP.
Whatever Quayle thinks, he likely realized that this video ominously warning about the dangers of government spending was problematic, because he pulled “the ad after about an hour” of being on YouTube.