The Heritage Foundation has published a new report entitled “Federal Spending: By the Numbers”. If you value fiscal conservatism, if you value living within your means, if you wish your government shared your values, you’ll find this to be a depressing read. If this keeps up, we’ll have nothing to leave our children — the government will have taken it all in taxes, leaving our children and grandchildren with nothing but debt and memories of prosperity. Courtesy of Captains Quarters:
However, federal spending has kept the pace of the expansion in revenues. Last year’s budget came in at $2.472T, and this year we expect to spend $2.77T, according to estimates released this week. Of that money, $969B comes in so-called discretionary spending, up $300B since 2001. But by far and away the worst of the bill comes in entitlement spending, which went to $1.32T last year, up from $1.009 in 2001. As a measure of the rate of increase in both areas, discretionary spending has increased 93% since 1990, but entitlements have gone up 132%, while revenues have increased by 109%.
Where has the increase come? Some of it has gone to national defense, but not all of it. In fact, the federal budget has grown across the board since 2001, outstripping inflation (12% overall) in several categories, such as Education (137%), Community and Regional Development (342%), Medicare (58%), Housing and Commerce (58%), Medicaid (49%), and Water Transportation (46%). Do you like the idea of nationalized health care? We may be heading there by default, as the federal budget for Health Research and Regulation has grown by 78% since 2001 and now consumes $76B of our budget.