Despite Hype over Spending Cuts, Government Continues to Grow
The spending cuts and tax increases in January 2013 “fiscal cliff” legislation are viewed by some as taking a tough approach to runaway federal spending. However, a recent Investor’s Business Daily article, relying on the Obama administration’s numbers, points out that the following categories of spending have increased in real terms since 2008:
• Transportation: up $36.6 billion, an increase of 37.5%.
• Education: up $30.8 billion, or 25%.
• Housing assistance: up $16.4 billion, or 31.4%.
• Community and regional development: up $11 billion, or 36.5%.
• Natural resources and environment: up $9.5 billion, or 21.3%.
• Farm income stabilization: up $6.8 billion, or 39.5%.
Notably, these categories do not include Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or “food stamps”) spending. These percentage increases in spending outstrip national GDP growth in the Obama years, which understandably raises questions about how serious the President is about getting the deficit under control.