When is government expenditure likely to be procyclical? While economists tend to anticipate counter-cyclical expenditure, recent studies report procyclical expenditure. This paper explores the impact of political ideology on the cyclicality of government expenditure. Predictions are tested with reference to government expenditure in the USA between 1950 and 2008. The likelihood of procyclical expenditure increases if groups that press for increased public expenditure are‘…leaning against an open door’.