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October 3, 2006
Rate Of Increase In Federal Budget Highest Since 1990

Brian Riedl at the Heritage Foundation has taken a look at the growth in federal spending, and sounds the alarm in a new analysis. Riedl points out the shell game played by Congress in this session that has allowed spending to increase at the highest rate in sixteen years:

Federal spending in 2006 is set to rise 9 percent, the largest increase since 1990 and enough to earn Congress near failing grades from the Heritage Foundation’s third quarter report card.[1] Most families facing steep new expenses would cut back on additional spending. However, the Senate is preparing to bust fiscal year (FY) 2007 discretionary spending caps by at least $32 billion to:

1. Reimburse the Pentagon for the $9 billion raided from its budget earlier this year and given to domestic programs, as well as fund additional defense and border security programs ($26.8 billion in total);
2. Fund another massive farm subsidy bailout despite high subsidy levels and a booming farm economy ($4.2 billion); and
3. Reimburse NASA for funds that lawmakers had diverted into parochial pork projects ($1.0 billion).

And in addition, lawmakers have promised $2 billion to $3 billion more for the labor, health, and education programs. Senators classify much of this new spending as “emergency” so that it does not technically count against the budget caps. But this spending is foreseeable—and often the predictable result of budget gimmickry—and so is not an “emergency.” For the sake of taxpayers, Congress needs to set its budgetary priorities, make tough choices, and offset any increases.

I wrote about this yesterday at the Heritage Foundation's Policy Blog, looking at the connection between this analysis and the story from yesterday's New York Times regarding how pork-barrel politics railroads spending bills through the House. It shows that the true cost of pork amounts to more than just the sum of all the earmarks -- much, much more. Be sure to read it and to bookmark the Policy Blog.

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at October 3, 2006 6:44 AM

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