oldschool CxC

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Budgetary Analysis Discussion Con't.

I don't think any right-thinking person believe that bush has been anything but a fiscal disaster. People dismiss "mandatory" spending as somehow not his responsibility, but he and the GOP passed the first new entitlement program since Lyndon Johnson and it is an unmitigated, wide open disaster.

His apologists also try to exclude "Homeland Security" spending from the discussion as if its pseudo-mandatory, but its not. Placing a SWAT unit in every Midwestern town, invading Iraq, even invading Afghanistan were choices and if you make those, you can justify cuts elsewhere. But they requested and legislated no offsetting cuts, which is irresponsible.

As far as discretionary spending, let’s start with numbers.

The 7.9 percent of GDP spent on discretionary programs in 2005 was not far off the historical average. Discretionary spending topped 10 percent of GDP from World War II through the early 1980s, before falling to 6.3 percent in 2000, and then spiking back up to 7.9 percent in 2005.

Defense spending has driven much of these fluctuations. From 9.3 percent of GDP in 1962, it typically remained over 5 percent until the Soviet Union fell in 1991. Then, after dropping all the way down to 3.0 percent of GDP in 2000, the War on Terrorism has pushed it back up to 4.1 percent.

Non-defense discretionary spending has remained more stable over the past few decades. After dropping to 3.2 percent of GDP in 1999, it has since surged to 3.9 percent in 2005.

Overall discretionary outlays rose 2.3 percent annually under President Clinton, compared to 9.7 percent annually under President Bush. Defense was virtually frozen in nominal dollars under President Clinton, and has averaged 12 percent annual growth under President Bush. Non-defense discretionary outlays rose 4 percent annually under President Clinton, versus 8 percent annually under President Bush.

He goes on the emphasize, that the GOP, party of small, limited government increased spending on education 62 percent, or 10 percent annually; International affairs up 74 percent, or 12 percent annually; Health research and regulation up 57 percent, or 9 percent annually; Veterans’ benefits up 46 percent, or 8 percent annually; Science and basic research up 40 percent, or 7 percent annually.

Each party tends to think that everything would be manageable if their guys made it into power, but I just think its structurally unmanageable. How can 566 people oversee an $11,000,000,000 budget that is funded by everyone (including the unborn) but them? It can’t be done without violating laws of human nature. Give someone access to someone else’s money and them make it his job to have people like him and reelect him. Its over. Its all hopeless absent some cataclysmic event.


Blogger A. said...

just wondering where is the 11 billion # coming from?

12:26 PM  
Blogger A. said...

and what cataclysmic event?

2:40 PM  
Blogger Erik said...

All too sad and true. I think when we last discussed the fact that the party in power loves to exercise that power by showering money this way and that, the only contention was the proper use of "drunken sailor."

And like A said.. $11B? Are you missing a few zeroes or referring to some small piece of the pie?

I am always stunned at work when I see major projects get canceled. It's a good thing that doesn't happen enough, because once you get that many people and that much money involved, these things have a momentum of their own. Any examples of federal programs that have been cut since 1990 to save money? Or is it only "slow the rate of growth" or tax up some new funds?

9:08 AM  
Blogger Sony said...

missing 3 zeros and the number 11 probably has a crooked number these days. Thats official budget, not off budget items like, say, the entire Iraq war.

3:48 PM  
Blogger A. said...

man that victory party better be good

5:52 PM  

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