NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Federal Spending Just Keeps On Growing

October 19, 1998

It appears that the fiscal 1999 federal budget will be $1.75 trillion -- larger than the gross domestic product of Canada, Mexico, Ireland, New Zealand and Sweden combined.

Opponents of big government blame Capitol Hill Republicans for caving in to President Clinton's demands for more money for both new and old programs.

Here are some examples:

  • Some $1.1 billion for 100,000 new school teachers, $260 million for a child literacy program and $40 million for after-school programs.
  • The International Monetary Fund is due to receive another $18 billion and farmers can expect $6 billion in emergency aid.
  • The Bosnia mission is to get $2 billion, while $500 million will go for new environmental programs.
  • Some $1 billion more is allocated to fixing the Year 2000 computer problem and an extra $1.5 billion will go to the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

A number of budget-watchers are accusing Congress of passing up a rare opportunity to give back to Americans some of their taxes through a cut in rates. Cato Institute economist Stephen Moore points out that by allowing revenues to keep flooding in to the government, a 20 percent flat tax on a revenue-neutral basis is no longer possible.

Source: Aaron Steelman, "Era of Big Government Remains," Investor's Business Daily, October 19, 1998.


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