10/05/2013

Shutdown is cutting government spending by only 17 percent -- above level it was before Obama became president.

From the Washington Examiner:
"Based on estimates drawn from CBO and OMB data, 83 percent of government operations will continue. This figure assumes that the government pays amounts due on appropriations obligated before the shutdown ($512 billion), spends $225 billion on exempted military and civilian personnel, pays entitlement benefits for those found eligible before the shutdown (about $2 trillion), and pays interest costs when due ($237 billion). This is about 83 percent of projected 2014 spending of $3.6 trillion." . . .
By the way, cutting the projected $3.602 trillion in spending for 2014 by 17% would leave government spending at $2.990 trillion.  The year before president Obama became president government spending was at $2.983 trillion (see Table B-78).  It is only a 13% cut in spending from the $3.455 trillion in FY 2013.  Is the world really about to end if government spending was temporarily just a little higher than it was at the end of the Bush administration?

Of course, population has grown by about 3.99 percent since 2008 (to about 316.236 million in 2013 from 304.094 million in 2008) and prices have gone up by about 7.7 percent (index at 231.89694 in August 2013 (obtained by linking this series with the newest BLS numbers) and was at 215.303 in 2008).  So if you adjust for population growth and inflation, spending after the cut is $2.652 trillion -- that represents a 10 percent cut in real per capita government spending from what it was in 2008.

Given that during the presidential debates in 2008 Obama claimed that government spending had been increasing too much, this shutdown might be getting government back to the level of government Obama said he supported when he first ran for president.  From the Second presidential debate in 2008:
When George Bush came into office, our debt -- national debt was around $5 trillion. It's now over $10 trillion. We've almost doubled it. 
And so while it's true that nobody's completely innocent here, we have had over the last eight years the biggest increases in deficit, spending, and national debt in our history. And Sen. McCain voted for four out of five of those George Bush budgets. 
So here's what I would do. I'm going to spend some money on the key issues that we've got to work on. 
You know, you may have seen your health care premiums go up. We've got to reform health care to help you and your budget. 
We are going to have to deal with energy because we can't keep on borrowing from the Chinese and sending money to Saudi Arabia. We are mortgaging our children's future. We've got to have a different energy plan. 
We've got to invest in college affordability. So we're going to have to make some investments, but we've also got to make spending cuts. And what I've proposed, you'll hear Sen. McCain say, well, he's proposing a whole bunch of new spending, but actually I'm cutting more than I'm spending so that it will be a net spending cut. . . . .
BTW, for those interested in a handy place to get data here is a good source

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