The Spectacle Blog

Bush and Spending, Cont’d

By on 7.22.08 | 5:12PM

Matt Yglesias provides some charts from the liberal Center on Budget and Policy Priorities that show defense spending up and domestic discretionary spending down under President Bush, especially if you lump in all security spending with defense. I don't have much of a problem with defense increasing its share of federal spending while domestic programs shrink, because national defense is the primary constitutional responsibility of the federal government. But I do have some problems with these figures. First, they use funding levels rather than actual expenditure levels. If you look at the money that was really spent as a percentage of GDP, you get different results. Second, looking at spending patterns from 2001 to 2008 allows Bush's resistance to spending by the Democratic Congress to cancel out the GOP spending binge of 2001-06. When Republicans had the greatest opportunity to control federal spending, they instead increased it virtually across the board.

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