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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.

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates that, under current law, federal outlays in 2012 will total $3.6 trillion, about the same amount as in 2011. Those outlays will equal an estimated 23.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), which is below last year’s figure but still above the 21.0 percent average share of the past 40 years.    Click here to verify at Page 47
CBO estimates that the net cost to the federal government of the TARP’s transactions, including the cost of grants for mortgage programs that have not been made yet, will amount to $32 billion. CBO’s analysis reflects transactions completed, outstanding, and anticipated as of February 22, 2012.  Click here to verify
At the end of fiscal year 2011, federal debt held by the public was 68 percent of GDP. The paths for revenues and spending specified by Chairman Ryan and his staff would lead to debt equal to 61 percent of GDP in 2023, 53 percent in 2030, and 10 percent in 2050. That debt would be a much smaller share of GDP than under CBO’s two scenarios.  Click here to verify at bottom of Page 4
Rising debt will also hamstring the government, depriving it of the resources needed to respond to future crises and invest in other priorities. Deficit spending is often used to respond to short- term financial “emergency” needs such as wars or recessions.  If our national debt grows higher, the federal government may even have difficulty borrowing funds at an affordable interest rate, preventing it from effectively responding.  Click here to verify at Page 11
Large debt will put America at risk by exposing it to foreign creditors.  They currently own more than half our public debt, and the interest we pay them reduces our own standard of living.  The single largest foreign holder of our debt is China, a nation that may not share our country’s aspirations and strategic interests.  In a worst-case scenario, investors could lose confidence that our nation is able or willing to repay its loans – possibly triggering a debt crisis that would force the government to implement the most stringent of austerity measures.  Click here to verify at Page 11
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Voting Key

Fact = 100% - 92% True
Mostly Fact = 91% - 75% True
Slightly Fact = 74% - 60% True
Split = 59% - 50% True
Slightly Fiction = 49% - 30% True
Mostly Fiction = 29% - 10% True
Fiction = 9% - 0% True