Change in Federal Spending since 1962
We've discussed the tax increases and the federal deficit since we've been old enough to pay taxes, or worry about how the deficit will effect us. Everybody talks as if they know the cause of the problem. There are many myths regarding the Federal budget and deficit. These common budget myths include the following:
Here, we will present some of the budget data since 1962, and let you look at the graphs and see which myths you believe may actually be true.
We start by classifying federal spending in three parts: administrative, military, and social-regulatory. Of course there is some overlap between all of these, but we work directly from the reported budget numbers.
Budget Viewed By Percents
We should look at this with a little more detail though. In 1962, treasury costs make up most of the administrative costs (7.5% of total.) For social-regulatory costs, in 1962 support of business (12%) and social security (13%) almost tie for first place.
Between 1962 and 1980 the share spent on all three sectors of administrative costs nearly doubles. Large increases also went to welfare and social security. During the Reagan-Bush years the deficit rose rapidly, while business and education lost a share of support. Under Clinton the deficit stopped growing, while welfare and social security saw an increase in their share. During the GW Bush years, the share given to the deficit and to social security appear to decline. But remember, from above, the deficit and social spending rose rather rapidly during this time. Just, military spending rose much faster resulting in the deficit and regulatory costs receiving a smaller relative share.
From this data, now go back and think about the common myths regarding spending and the deficit. Which myths appear to be justified? Which appear doubtful?
Last modified June 22, 2009