THE SPENDING SPREE OF THE 108TH CONGRESS

November 30, 2004

The 108th Congress traded in the goal of reducing federal spending for an 18-month spending spree with taxpayer money, according to the National Taxpayers Union Foundation (NTUF).

The NTUF says that proposals to grow government far outnumbered those to pare it, as reflected in the ratio of spending increase bills to decrease bills in both chambers of Congress. Also, for the first time in eight years, the ratio shrunk compared to its level in the preceding Congress.

The NTUF reports that:

  • For each bill to lower spending introduced in the House, there were nearly 22 bills to raise spending; for each bill to reduce spending introduced in the Senate, there were 29 bills to increase spending.
  • If every bill (including overlapping legislation) before the Senate were passed into law, federal spending would rise by a net of $1.47 trillion each year, or $13,456 per household; bills before the House would cumulatively cause spending to soar by $5.77 trillion, or $52,761 per household.
  • In the Senate, each $1 saved from legislation that would reduce spending was overwhelmed by $18.16 in new spending; in the House, each $1 of savings proposed in legislation was swamped by $47.66 in spending increases.

If spending is not reigned in, the continued demand for increases in the federal budget will be detrimental to efforts to reform the Tax Code and modernize Social Security, say NTUF analysts, and it will jeopardize the President's vow to cut the deficit in half.

Source: Demian Brady, "The First Eighteen Months of the 108th Congress: Ghosts of the Revolution," Policy Paper 154, National Taxpayers Union Foundation, October 7, 2004.

 

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