President Barack Obama apparently believes Americans aren't smart enough to look at the bottom line. How else could he believe voters will buy into his pledge to shrink the size of government?
"The government we have is not the government we need," Obama proclaimed to a group of business people last week. "It has to change," he said of wasteful spending in Washington.
One of the president's plans to reduce the size of government is to combine six economic agencies into one, Obama has explained - leaving out, of course, the fact that his administration has added to the number of bureaucrats and agencies dealing with the economy.
Again, however, it will not escape the notice of voters Obama is wooing in advance of the November election that the cost of government has skyrocketed on his watch - in large measure because of his initiatives.
During fiscal 2008, when Obama was elected president, spending by the federal government totaled $2.98 trillion (measured in 2005 dollars).
During the current fiscal year, Washington will spend $3.8 trillion. By fiscal 2016, spending is expected to soar to $4.47 trillion. That is an increase of 50 percent in just eight years.
Obama may believe playing shell games with government agencies, bureaus and departments will convince voters he is reducing the burden on them.
But with a national debt of $15.2 trillion - $10 trillion in 2008 - it is clear the kind of change Obama has brought to Americans is bigger, more crushing government.