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July 22, 2008

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Douthat actually claims that domestic discretionary funding has increased from 3.1% of GDP to 3.3% between 2001 and 2007. According to the CBO link he provides, it spend the years in between at 3.5-3.6%.

The CBPP bases its "shrunk ... as a share of the economy" claim on a *single* 2008 value of 2.8%. I can't find that number anywhere else besides the CBPP website. I entertain the possibility that it's bogus.

Statistics can be made to lie.

The conservative Heritage Foundation has a more trustworthy story. According to them, total federal spending under Bush and his GOP Congress has increased a whopping 60%, after adjusting for inflation. 60% of the increase wasn’t for national security. It was for the largest new entitlement since the Great Society (prescription drug benefit), the biggest federal intrusion into the classroom in history (No Child Left Behind), and a drunken orgy of pork barrel spending that gives new meaning to the phrase “waste, fraud, and abuse”.

Some examples of “waste, fraud, and abuse” include: $55 billion in federal overpayments; 1,200 "lost" computers in the Commerce Department; Home Land Security employees buying plasma televisions and iPods; the Defense Department wasting $100 million on airline tickets that were never used; Air Force personnel spending your tax dollars on gambling and strip clubs...

Even the debit cards given to Hurricane Katrina victims were used to pay for things like Caribbean vacations, NFL tickets, Dom Perignon champagne, “Girls Gone Wild” videos, and at least one sex change operation!

Bush’s fiscal recklessness has imperiled America’s future. Inflation is escalating to Jimmy Carter levels. The housing market is in the worst condition in 70 years. Gas is $4 a gallon. Banks are failing. More of the same is on the way.

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