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Spending Wonkery


Reihan Salam responds to me. I’ll let Brian Riedl respond to him:

[T]he 7.0% annual growth [in non-defense, non-security discretionary spending] excludes both defense and homeland security spending. And even excluding international spending would only drop the average annual growth rate to 6.6%, according to OMB data.Inflation does not even come close to wiping out such large increases.Finally, unemployment spending is an entitlement, as are nearly all anti-poverty programs. So unemployment and anti-poverty data are not particularly relevant to domestic discretionary spending trends.I’m not sure where they are getting their data (and they provide no actual numbers or sources), but it is not consistent with basic OMB data.  Nor is it consistent with the reality that programs such as education have received massive spending increases (or are they suggesting that it has been completely offset?)


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