NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


May 8, 1997

The five-year budget plan negotiated by the White House and Republican leaders has some positive aspects, but the net effect is Clinton got billions of dollars in additional discretionary spending to expand the size of government.

  • The federal government now spends $1.8 trillion a year, but by the end of the five-year plan that figure will jump to $2 trillion, and is expected to climb much further when baby boomers begin to retire in the next decade, according to budget analysts.
  • Thanks to the Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) miraculous discovery of $225 billion in additional revenues, the struggle to close a $50 billion spending gap in the deal was quickly resolved.
  • Yet, instead of channeling the revenue windfall to finance deeper tax cuts, analysts note, negotiators agreed to allow Clinton to spend nearly $70 billion more on bigger domestic programs than he is spending this year.
  • According to budget experts, the five-year plan will increase total discretionary spending by at least $100 billion.

The dealmakers also hopes to get additional revenues by revising the consumer price index (CPI), making it even easier to avoid real spending cuts that addresses the fundamental problem of wasteful, overbudgeted government programs.

Source: Donald Lambro (Washington Times), "Filling in the Budget Deal Balance Sheet," Washington Times, May 8, 1997.


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