Feds increase spending by 21.4% over 2 years
From the Editors
The Wall Street Journal astutely brings to our attention that the federal government has overseen and facilitated a 21.4% spending increase in 2 years. Where is this money going?
“Perhaps you missed it, but then so did the Washington press corps. Late last week the Congressional Budget Office released its preliminary budget tallies for fiscal year 2010, and the news is that the U.S. government had another fabulous year—in spending your money. We didn’t expect President Obama to hold a press conference, but why are Republicans so quiet?…
“What did Washington spend more money on? Well, despite two wars, defense spending rose by 4.7% to $667 billion, down from an annual average increase of 8% from 2005 to 2009.
“Once again domestic accounts far and away led the increases. Medicaid rose by 8.7%, and unemployment benefits by an astonishing 34.3%—to $160 billion. The costs of jobless insurance have tripled in two years. CBO adds that if you take out the savings for deposit insurance, funding for all “other activities” of government—education, transportation, foreign aid, housing, and so on—rose by 13% in 2010….
“Here’s the kicker: By far the biggest percentage-gain revenue winner for the taxpayer in 2010 was . . . the Federal Reserve. Thanks to the expansion of its balance sheet with riskier assets, the Fed earned $76 billion during the year, a 121% increase. The Fed’s windfall is a perfect symbol of our current economic policy. The government is making money because it now controls so much capital, but it is robbing that money from the private economy in the process. It is never a good sign when your central bank is a national profit center….
“The 21.4% federal spending increase in two years ought to put to rest any debate about the nature of America’s fiscal problem. The Pelosi Congress has used the recession as an excuse to send spending to record heights, and its economic policies have contributed to a lousy recovery. The solution is to stop the spending and change the policies. Polls open on November 2.”
- Fed Policy Makers Differ Over Policy as Inflation Accelerates (businessweek.com)