logo
  Join        Login             Stock Quote
Top News :  

Budget Battles & Reality Checks
By: Capital Spectator   Friday, May 25, 2012 9:58 AM
For example, spending on entitlement programs, such as social security, drift higher without a vote of Congress each year. These programs can be changed or even terminated with an act of Congress, but normally the spending growth on the mandatory side of the budget rolls on, immune to the day-to-day political haggling that otherwise engulfs Washington. That inspires looking at discretionary spending alone to gauge how much more, or less, the government agrees to spend in any given fiscal year. Here too there's been a sharp drop in the rate of spending, albeit only in fiscal year 2011. But the change is dramatic: discretionary federal outlays for fiscal year 2011 dropped slightly relative to the previous fiscal year.

Keep in mind that federal spending is a direct byproduct of Congress, albeit with a heavy hand of influence from the White House. In other words, the idea that federal spending, for good or ill, flows from the decisions of one man, or one branch of government, is misleading, to say the least. Obvious? Yes, but worth repeating in a highly charged political season.

As for the federal budget numbers, they are what they are. You can attack the data as evidence of a government run amuck, or praise the numbers as evidence of enlightened governing. But whatever you do, don't attack the messenger for reviewing the facts.

Update: Here's an excerpt from the aforementioned "Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2012 to 2022" from CBO (pages 4-5):

Federal spending rose by 4 percent in 2011, to $3.6 trillion—a rate of increase that is significantly less than the nearly 7 percent average rate of growth in federal outlays over the previous 10 years. About half of the $142 billion increase from 2010 to 2011 occurred because downward revisions in the estimated net cost of the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) in 2011 were smaller than in 2010; those revisions were recorded as reductions in outlays. Excluding the TARP, total outlays grew by $70 billion, or about 2 percent. In 2012, CBO projects, outlays will increase by just $3 billion (or 0.1 percent). As a percentage of GDP, outlays will fall from 24.1 percent in 2011 to 23.2 percent this year—a level still higher than in any year between 1984 and 2008.

<< Previous Page  1
Post Comment -- Login is required to post message
Name:  
Alert for new comments:
Your email:
Your Website:
Title:
Comments:
 

  
Advertisement

Related Press Releases
Popular Articles
Advertisement
Recent Articles by Capital Spectator
Advertisement




Subscribe to Email Alerts rss feed or RSS feeds rss feed for articles from more than 800 contributors and press releases, SEC filings and full text news from thousands of sources.



Fundamental data is provided by Zacks Investment Research, and Commentary, news and Press Releases provided by YellowBrix and Quotemedia.
All information provided "as is" for informational purposes only, not intended for trading purposes or advice. iStockAnalyst.com is not an investment adviser and does not provide, endorse or review any information or data contained herein.
The blog articles are opinions by respective blogger. By using this site you are agreeing to terms and conditions posted on respective bloggers' website.
The postings/comments on the site may or may not be from reliable sources. Neither iStockAnalyst nor any of its independent providers is liable for any informational errors, incompleteness, or delays, or for any actions taken in reliance on information contained herein. You are solely responsible for the investment decisions made by you and the consequences resulting therefrom. By accessing the iStockAnalyst.com site, you agree not to redistribute the information found therein.
The sector scan is based on 15-30 minutes delayed data. The Pattern scan is based on EOD data.