Mar 9, 2023 - Politics & Policy

Charted: How U.S. government spending has ballooned since 1980

Data: Congressional Budget Office; Chart: Rahul Mukherjee/Axios

President Biden's newly released budget proposal would increase defense spending to $885 billion and non-defense spending to more than $1 trillion.

Why it matters: The proposal is dead on arrival with the GOP in control of the House, but it serves as a messaging device that Biden will take into his expected 2024 re-election campaign.

  • House Republicans have demanded serious budget cuts before agreeing to raise the federal debt limit, potentially bringing the U.S. to the brink of a catastrophic default
  • A GOP budget proposal outlining where those cuts will come from has yet to materialize.

Zoom in: Republicans are often loud about their desire to reign in spending, and lower the national debt.

  • But the federal budget has tended to balloon under recent Republican presidents, with small dips under Democratic ones, according to data from the Congressional Budget Office.
  • The federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic led to a spike in government spending at the end of the Trump administration.
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