Sunday, October 10, 2004

What? Bush Can't Count?

The President either knowlingly lied (which wouldn't be a first) or he seriously misspoke. He said:

Non-homeland, non-defense discretionary spending was raising at 15 percent a year when I got into office. And today it's less than 1 percent, because we're working together to try to bring this deficit under control.

Marginal revolution and Brad Delong both point this out as well. If this isn't true, there where is he spending the money? To listen to Kerry speak you would think Bush wasn't spending enough, on anything, let alone non-defense, non-homeland security discretionary spending. Well according to this report by Cato, here is where he is spending it.

From page 2 (the first number is te change in spending under Regan in the first three years and the second is the change in Bush's spending in the first 3 years):

Table 1. Spending by Department
Percent Change in Real Outlays in First Three Years
Department Reagan Bush
Agriculture -13.2% 8.5%
Commerce -29.0% 9.6%
Defense 18.6% 27.6%
Education -21.8% 60.8%
Energy -19.6% 22.4%
Health & Human Services 9.0% 21.4%
Housing & Urban Dev. -3.7% 6.1%
Interior -4.6% 23.4%
Justice 1.2% 11.0%
Labor -29.4% 56.0%
State 9.5% 32.5%
Transportation -13.0% -1.3%
Treasury 31.1% -7.0%
Veteran Affairs -3.9% 29.4%
Total Outlays 6.8% 15.6%
Sources: Budget of the U.S. Government and Mid-Session

I hope Kerry means that Bush isn't spending money on the right programs, not that he isn't spending enough money.

Keywords: Deficit, Fiscal Policy, ECO120, ECO305, ECO301

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