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Federal Spending – Fast Facts

All fast facts for Federal Spending are from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRR), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). They do not represent all of their reports on this subject. Some simply provide historical context. Occasionally minor word adjustments may have been made for clarity or to reflect the updated nature of the statement. As always, verify and view statements in their full context as often as possible.

In March (1996), President Clinton submitted his proposals for reaching budgetary balance by 2002.  Click here to verify at Page 1
The (1996) Congress adopted its own plan in June for balancing the budget by 2002 under CBO’s economic and other estimating assumptions.  The conference report accompanying the resolution includes a table that allocates the discretionary spending levels by major function, but how the functional totals would be distributed among individual programs is not known.  Click here to verify at Page 2
The contingent policies in the President Clinton’s budget include ending the proposed tax cuts for the middle class and other adjustments after 2000 and lowering spending levels for discretionary programs in 2001 and 2002.  Neither the March budget nor the July midsession review reveals how the President would allocate the contingent reductions in discretionary spending among individual programs.   Click here to verify at Page 2
As Table 1 and Figure 1 show, total discretionary outlays in the 1997 (Congress) budget resolution are lower in every year than the level proposed by the President, even under the contingent policies that would be needed to reach budgetary balance under CBO’s assumptions.    Although the difference is quite small for 1997, it represents $10 billion to $13 billion for 1998 through 2002.  Click here to verify at Page 5
The two reconciliation acts that President Clinton signed into law on August 5, 1997 the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997 (TRA-97) and its companion, the Balanced Budget Act of 1997 contained the first major cut in federal taxes since the early 1980s.  Click here to verify at Summary
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