Observers note that President Barack Obama seems to enjoy comparing himself to former President Dwight Eisenhower, having repeatedly claimed that he was reducing federal spending to Eisenhower-era levels. Although his assertion that the recent debt-ceiling deal would produce “the lowest level of annual domestic spending since Dwight Eisenhower was President” proved to be false, it is easy to understand why Obama wants to be like Ike: Today the 1950s are often viewed, rightly or wrongly, as an era of stability and prosperity in America, with Eisenhower the reassuring, moderate presence guiding it all.
On one count, however, Obama may find the comparison to Eisenhower particularly unflattering. For all his willingness to go along to get along, developing New Deal programs and launching big-government initiatives of his own, Eisenhower and his equally free-spending predecessor, President Harry Truman, couldn’t hold a candle to Obama when it comes to running up Uncle Sam’s credit card.
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Photo of Dwight Eisenhower: AP Images