Fri Jan 25, 2013, 02:08 PM
swag (24,872 posts)
Why Government Spending Is Not Out of Control (Reagan/Bush advisor Bruce Bartlett)
It is a standard talking point of Republicans and deficit hawks of all political stripes that federal spending is out of control; that major surgery is needed, especially on entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare, to get the budget on a sustainable course.
In fact, our long-term deficit situation is not nearly as severe as even many budget experts believe. The problem is that they are looking at recent history and near-term projections that are overly impacted by one-time factors related to the economic crisis and massive Republican tax cuts that lowered revenues far below normal.
Taking a longer-term view, such as that in a recent Treasury Department report, shows that our longer-term fiscal problem is in fact quite manageable.
As the chart below illustrates, federal spending ballooned in fiscal year 2009 mainly because of what economists call “automatic stabilizers” – programs already in law such as unemployment compensation that rises whenever a recession occurs. Spending rose from 20.7 percent of the gross domestic product in fiscal year 2008 to 25 percent in 2009.
Republicans would have us believe that all of this resulted from Barack Obama’s policies, but this is simply a partisan lie. Fiscal year 2009 actually began on September 1, 2008, and was based on the budget that George W. Bush submitted in January 2008.
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Why Government Spending Is Not Out of Control (Reagan/Bush advisor Bruce Bartlett) (Original post)
|Dawson Leery||Jan 2013||#4|