Federal Spending Reduced Two Consecutive Years

Every year the U.S. population grows, as does its economy, inflation, and demands for government services. These factors lead to consecutive and steady increases in federal government spending. Arguably, the growth has been larger than needed at times. However, some increase is practically inevitable. Therefore our Daily Snippet may surprise you on either front:

U.S. spending has fallen two straight years for first time since Korean War

Found this via Politifact. They back it up nicely with data from the federal government:

“Between 1953 and 1955, federal spending fell each year, from $76.1 billion to $70.9 billion to $68.4 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget . By 1956, spending had edged up again, to $70.6 billion.”

The federal budget has increased nearly every year since then.

“In 2011, federal outlays were $3.60 trillion. Outlays fell to $3.54 trillion in 2012, and the Congressional Budget Office  projects the figure to fall to $3.46 trillion in 2013.”

Robert Greenstein over at the Center for Budget and Policy Prioritiesyesterday made the point that the current budget negotiation and shutdown is unlike budget negotiations in which the government shutdown for 2-3 days during the 80s. The shutdowns of the 80s were short, and over funding levels, not prolonged and over dramatic changes to controversial policy matters. Today, furthermore, there have already been concessions made on the funding levels.

“In the current shutdown, by contrast, Congressional Democrats have agreed to accept in toto the CR funding levels that Republicans seek — continuing the 2013 funding levels, and thereby accepting (for the term of the CR) the 2014 sequestration level for non-defense discretionary programs while placing defense funding above this year’s sequestration level.  Although House Democratic leaders said in September they wouldn’t support these CR funding levels, Senate Democrats then accepted them, and last week, House Democrats announced they’d accept them in a CR as well.”