Fox News' Hemmer Paints Cheney As Crusader For Small Government

Today, on Fox News' America's Newsroom co-host Bill Hemmer aired a video clip of Dick Cheney's assertion that Barack Obama will be a one-term president because he has been “expanding the size of government, expanding the deficit.” Hemmer then declared that Cheney has been against big government since the 70s, adding, “In Dick Cheney's view, bigger government is bad government.”

Hemmer seems to have forgotten the last decade.

federal spending chart

With Cheney as Vice President, federal spending increased significantly and a surplus turned into the largest deficit since World War II. The increase in spending from 2001-2008 is more than four times larger than that from 1993-1999 when accounting for inflation. The Washington Times wrote in 2008 that no other administration since FDR “has presided over as rapid a growth in government when measured as a percentage of the total economy.”

Add in the War in Iraq, the PATRIOT Act, the Medicare prescription drug benefit, the No Child Left Behind Act, and the bank bailout, and it becomes quite clear that there is, in fact, very little evidence that Cheney prioritized reducing the size and scope of government when he was Vice President.

It really wasn't that long ago, but the myth has already been made by Fox. To Hemmer, a purported "straight news" anchor, Cheney opposes big government and has always opposed big government.