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How the Budget Revolution Was Lost
Stephen Moore (au)
Despite the dramatic decline in the budget deficit in the 1990s, fed. social spending was at record levels in 1997 both in real dollars and as a share of nat. output. In the previous 10 years fed. domestic expenditures rose by 34% after inflation. Total nondefense outlays by then consumed 17.5% of gross domestic product, up from 15% of GDP in the 1970s and 10% in the 1960s. Almost all of the reduction in the budget deficit in the 1990s has been attributable to the “peace dividend” reductions in the military budget. This report also shows that as of 1997 the Newt Gingrich-led Republican congress has failed to control the pace of social program expansions. In their first 3 budgets (FY 1996-98), the Republicans increased domestic spending by $183 billion compared to a $155 billion increase in the 3 years prior to GOP control of Congress. Not a single cabinet agency has been eliminated. And only a small handful of the 300 fed. programs targeted for closure have actually been terminated. In sum, as in the Reagan years, Republics have quickly retreated from the agenda of making govt. in Wash. smaller and smaller. Figures.
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