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Federal Spending, 2001 through 2008: Defense Is a Rapidly Growing Share of the Budget, While Domestic Appropriations Have Shrunk

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Publication Date: March 2008

Publisher(s): Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (Washington, D.C.)

Author(s): Richard Kogan

Special Collection: John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Topic: Banking and finance (Public finance)

Keywords: Economic projections; Fiscal future; Federal budget; Retirement

Type: Report


Between fiscal year 2001 (the last year for which appropriations levels were set under President Clinton) and fiscal year 2008, funding for domestic discretionary programs has been more constrained than any other area of the budget and has shrunk both as a share of the budget and as a share of the economy.  In contrast, appropriations for defense and other security-related programs have increased more rapidly than any other area of the budget--even more rapidly than the costs of the “big three” entitlement programs: Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid.