4.4 Trillion – The Spending Boom – WSJ.com

By at August 22, 2010 | 8:16 pm | Print

REVIEW & OUTLOOK AUGUST 22, 2010

$4.4 Trillion

That’s how much the spending baseline has increased in 31 months.

Speaking last Wednesday in Columbus, Ohio, President Obama asked, “How do we, over the long term, get control of our deficit?” Good question.

Here’s the answer suggested by last Thursday’s semi-annual budget summary from the Congressional Budget Office: Stop spending so much.

CBO’s mid-year review largely reinforces the bad news we already knew—to wit, that spending has exploded since Democrats took over Congress in 2007, first with the acquiescence of George W. Bush and then into hyperdrive after Mr. Obama entered the White House.

To appreciate the magnitude of this spending blowout, compare CBO’s budget “baseline” estimate in January 2008 with the baseline it released Thursday. The baseline predicts future spending based on the law at the time. As the nearby chart shows, in a mere 31 months Congress has added more than $4.4 trillion to the 10-year spending baseline. The 2008 and 2009 numbers are actual spending, the others are estimates. As recently as 2005, total federal spending was only $2.47 trillion.

Keep that $4.4 trillion in mind the next time you hear Mr. Obama or Speaker Nancy Pelosi say they “inherited” this budget mess. Let’s assume the recession that Mr. Obama inherited—Mrs. Pelosi was already in power—was responsible for causing $1 trillion or so in deficit spending. That still doesn’t explain why the annual deficit of roughly $1.4 trillion will be nearly as high in fiscal 2010, after a year of economic growth, as it was in 2009. Or why CBO says the deficit will still be nearly $1.1 trillion in 2011 even if all of the Bush-era tax cuts are repealed.

via Review & Outlook: $4.4 Trillion – WSJ.com.

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2 Comments


  1. coastcontact, 4 years ago

    I agree. The United States government is spending too much money and a great deal of it is borrowed. The Bush tax cuts are going to end on December 31, 2010. That will result in higher taxes for everyone. The result will probably be more money into government coffers.

    Along with those higher taxes we ought to reduce spending. The question is what will be reduced? Defense spending? Unemployment benefits? Welfare benefits? Reduced aid to the individual states?

    Considering we are faced with a sluggish economy and high unemployment it will be interesting to see where the spending is cut. I would be willing to bet that the cuts will impact the poorest people in the nation.


  2. Bob Powell, 3 years ago

    Fiscal debt as of Sept 09, 8 months after Obama took office, was $11.9 trillion (as of Aug 10, it’s $13.4 trillion). In the 8 month period from Feb through Sep 2009 there’s no way any president could turn the “ship of state” to significantly affect an economy in collapse. And it surely takes much longer than that, especially with the accelerated (more than doubled) Republican filibustering in the Senate.

    Employment reached its latest peak in November 2007. A total of 4.3 million jobs were lost before Obama took office at the end of January 2009. Though the trajectory has now leveled off, the lost jobs total is 7.4 million as of June 2010.

    Democratic tax increases on the wealthy led to a boom and Republican tax cuts for the wealthy and not-paid-for spending led to a bust. The economic downturn, Bush tax cuts and wars in Afghanistan and Iraq explain virtually the entire deficit over the next ten years. So yes, this mess was inherited.

    “Trade” deficits subtracted $5.8 trillion from GDP from 2000 through May 2010. There’s no possible amount of stimulus that can make up for this drain on GDP. But if Obama tried to do something about “free trade” economic treason, economic “conservatives” would scream bloody murder and not allow it.

    Google “Fiscal Deficits! Who’s Responsible?” for the whole story.


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