Republicans Preside Over Near Record Government Spending

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Numbers crunched for the end of the fiscal year on September 30 show that the federal government spent more in 2017 than at any time in history, except for 2010.

That is to say, the Republican Congress spent more money than at any time in American history, save only when President Obama spent $840 billion to stimulate the economy.

As reported by Terence P. Jeffrey in GOP Congress Presides Over Highest Spending Since Obama’s Stimulus, federal spending in fiscal year 2017 was $3,980,605,000,000.

Prior to this year, the highest level of real federal spending was the $4,024,794,600,000 in constant 2017 dollars (adjusted using the Bureau of Labor Statistics inflation calculator) that the Treasury spent in fiscal 2010.

In the years after 2010, real federal spending declined for a few years, hitting its lowest level since then ($3,633,572,490,000 in constant 2017 dollars) in fiscal 2014. In fiscal years 2015, 2016, and 2017 federal spending has been on the rise again—reaching this year’s $3,980,605,000,000, the second highest spending level in the nation’s history.

Also, the tax revenue brought in for FY 2017 was $3,314,893,000,000, the second highest in U.S. history.
But this left a deficit of $665,712,000 .
Mr. Jeffrey observes that Republicans have controlled the House of Representatives since 2011 and the Senate since 2015.  In this last fiscal year, the Republicans have controlled all branches of the federal government.
Republicans are known as the part of “fiscal responsibility,” but they are spending more than the Democrats did.Now in a later development, the Senate has passed a budget framework for FY 2018, which is tied to President Trump’s new tax reform plan.

The budget framework would cut spending by $4 trillion over 10 years.  That’s quite a bit, considering that last year’s spending was about $4 trillion.

On the other hand, the framework with the tax cuts would add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years.

There is a school of thought that says that deficit spending and national debt aren’t that important to a government.  But that school of thought has most of its students from the Democratic Party. Republicans, on the other hand, used to worry about such things.

What do you think?  Can we afford massive tax cuts at this time?  Should Republicans go ahead with the spending cuts, but wait on tax reform until the government gets its financial house in order?

Or should Republicans go full steam ahead on the tax cuts, in an attempt to stimulate the economy, while finding more ways to pare spending?

Or just cut taxes and hope that the economy grows enough to make everything turn out all right?

 

Illustration by geralt, via Pixabay, CC0, Creative Commons

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