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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.

Strong economic growth over the past few years (2001 report) has been the largest single cause of the surpluses, but recent signs of a weakening economy have prompted concern that projections of the surplus may fall.   Click here to verify at Page 2
Today’s relatively lower interest rates have lessened the pressure debt service places on the budget, despite the recent increase in the debt held by the public. However, interest rates are expected to increase as the economy recovers, resulting in increasing pressure on the budget.   Click here to verify
During much of the post World War II period, large deficits were incurred only in a time of war (e.g., Korea and Vietnam) or as a result of recessions. Click here to verify at Page 5 - – – Or use URL;
Federal debt held by the public was less than $3 billion in 1917, it peaked at 49.4 percent of GDP in 1993, fell to 33.0 percent by 2001 and increased thereafter, reaching 37.5 percent by 2005.  The declines in the deficit in 2006 and 2007 helped to reduce debt held by the public to 36.9 percent of GDP in 2007. Click here to verify at Pages 5-6 - – – Or use URL;
Under the President’s budget, debt held by the public would grow from $10.4 trillion (69 percent of GDP) at the end of 2011 to $20.8 trillion (87 percent of GDP) at the end of 2021, about $2.8 trillion more than the amount in CBO’s baseline projections.  (This budget was not passed by the Congress and is not law).  Click here to verify
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