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Is Domestic Spending Exploding? An Assessment of Claims by the Heritage Foundation and Others

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Abstract:

In recent weeks, a number of newspapers have reported on growing discontent among conservatives who charge that federal spending in general — and domestic spending in particular — are growing at explosive rates and that the President and Congress need to crack down on domestic spending growth. The claims of dramatic spending growth have been accepted at face value in a number of media venues.

The claims, however, turn out to rest in large part on dubious use of data that produces misleading conclusions (as is explained in detail, starting on page 3). Careful examination of the budget data, using standard methods of analysis employed by the Congressional Budget Office, the Office of Management and Budget, and other budget analysts.