Out of Control Government Spending

"All parts of government are growing," especially the federal budget, argues Heritage Foundation economist Brian Reidl in a new Heritage report on runaway government spending.

Reidl explains that bailouts, the “stimulus” package, and expansions of entitlement programs have caused federal spending to increase at a pace not seen since World War II.

Here are some alarming statistics Riedl dug up:
  • $4.004 trillion -- federal government spending in 2009, a record.
  • $1.845 trillion -- federal spending beyond its means in 2009, the deficit.
  • $33,932 -- federal spending per household in 2009.
  • $25,969 -- federal spending per household in 2008.
  • $12,072 -- tax increases required per household to pay for runaway spending on Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security by 2050. (Alternatively, we could reform the programs.)
  • 46 cents -- amount of every dollar Washington spends in 2009 that will be borrowed.
  • 32 percent -- increase in federal spending 2008-2009
  • 13 percent -- amount of the 2009 budget deficit relative to America's economic output. This is double the previous record
President Obama has repeatedly excused the government's spending spree as a necessary, but temporary, consequence of an inherited problem. The trouble is, as Riedl notes, that this spending is far from temporary: the President's 2010 budget would "replace this temporary spending with new permanent programs."

The President's budget proposal would create annual deficits of just under $1 trillion over the next 10 years, which is double the pre-recession deficit. And this lofty figure doesn't even include the President's costly public health care plan, which Riedl says "just digs the nation's financial hole deeper."

Earlier this year, the President patted his administration on the back for saving a paltry $100 million. But there are real savings available: Riedl highlights the Congressional Budget Office's "Budget Options" book, which identifies $140 billion in potential spending cuts.

-- Amanda Reinecker, Heritage Foundation

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