Alex Conant makes a valid point about the Obama administration’s proposed 2011-13 spending “freeze.” Under the existing Obama budget, it was already assumed that spending would surge as a result of efforts to prop up the economy during the recession, and then begin to decline during the 2011 to 2013 period before starting to tick up again.
According to a chart in the Office of Management and Budget’s mid-session review released last August (page 28), discretionary non-defense spending was on pace to explode from $508 billion in 2008 to $681 billion in 2010. Starting in 2011, according to OMB estimates, that number would begin to taper off, dropping to $639 billion in 2011; $607 billion in 2012; and bottoming out at $595 billion in 2013. We’ll have to wait until next week for more details, but based on what we know now, if Obama’s “freezes” spending at 2011 levels, it may actually represent an increase over what spending aticipated by his earlier budget.
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