Economic Snapshot | Trade and Globalization

Domestic spending falls under Clinton plan

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Snapshot for September 8, 1999

Domestic spending falls under Clinton plan

Democrats are taking some credit for President Clinton’s proposed spending increases over the next decade, and Republicans are bemoaning the growth of “big government.” The reality of the matter is that the Clinton proposal does not increase domestic spending between 2000 and 2009.

The figure below shows selected budget scenarios for nondefense discretionary spending. This category does not include entitlements, such as Social Security or food stamps. However, it does include the Head Start program, aid to education, environmental cleanup, job training, research and development, and other services funded by the federal government.

The annual current services baseline is $309 billion. (Current services in this case simply means current spending adjusted for inflation). The capped baseline reflects the fact that under current budget rules, total discretionary spending for fiscal years 2000 to 2002 are fixed dollar amounts which, after adjusting for inflation, buy lesser quantities of services. For this baseline, it is assumed that, after the caps expire in 2002, spending increases at the same rate as inflation.

The graph further shows that annual spending levels proposed by the Clinton Administration, after adjusting for inflation, fall progressively lower. By 2009, the Administration’s proposed spending drops slightly below the path of the capped baseline and, as a result, may harm a number of federal programs upon which people have come to depend.

Source: EPI analysis of Office of Management and Budget Data, Mid-Session Review.

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