NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


November 24, 2004

Congress completed work on the 2005 federal budget, and it shows remarkable spending discipline, says Joshua Bolten, director of the Office of Management and the Budget.

The Congress stayed within budget limits and met key priorities, says Bolton. As a result:

  • Overall discretionary spending in Fiscal 2005 will rise only 4 percent, while substantially increasing funding for defense and homeland security.
  • Discretionary spending for nonsecurity programs will rise only about 1 percent, which is half the rate of inflation and the lowest rate of growth since the Republicans first took control of Congress in the mid-1990s.
  • This is the fourth consecutive year that growth in such spending has declined, down from 15 percent growth in the last budget year of the previous Administration.

Federal spending will reach a projected $2.4 trillion in fiscal year 2005, and greater-than-expected tax revenues have helped bring down the 2004 federal budget deficit to $413 billion, or 3.6 percent of gross domestic product. The president's goal is to cut the federal budget deficit in half within five years, bringing the deficit well below its 40-year historical average of 2.3 percent of GDP.

Source: Joshua Bolten (director, Office of Management and the Budget), "No Deficit of Courage," Wall Street Journal, November 24, 2004.

For WSJ text (subscription required),,SB110126335153282684,00.html


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