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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.

At $1.2 trillion, CBO’s current estimate of the budget deficit for fiscal year 2012 is $93 billion larger than the deficit projected in January.  The changes since January in the outlook for 2012 stem almost entirely from the enactment of legislation, particularly the Middle Class Tax Relief and Jobs Creation Act of 2012 (P.L. 112-96). Among other things, that law extended the 2 percentage-point cut in the payroll tax rate for Social Security, continued emergency unemployment benefits, and temporarily delayed a scheduled reduction in Medicare’s payment rates for physicians. .   Click here to verify
If the payment of interest on the extra debt was financed by imposing higher marginal tax rates, those rates would discourage work and saving and further reduce output.  Rising interest costs might also force reductions in spending on important government programs.  Moreover, rising debt would increasingly restrict the ability of policymakers to use fiscal policy to respond to unexpected challenges, such as economic downturns or international crises.   Click here to verify at Page 2
Federal debt held by the public consists of all Federal debt held outside the Federal Government Accounts.     Gross Federal debt is composed both of Federal debt held (owned) by the public and Federal debt held by Federal Government accounts, which is mostly held by trust funds.    Click here to verify at Page 15 – – – Or use URL; www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/omb/budget/fy2012/assets/hist.pdf
Assessing the government’s overall financial condition requires accounting not only for debt that the government has already incurred (and financial assets it has acquired) but also for commitments the government has made for the future.  Debt held by the public, with or without an adjustment for the government’s financial assets, does not account for such future obligations.   Click here to verify at low-mid of Page
Gross debt, which comprises federal debt held by the public plus Treasury securities held by federal trust funds and other government accounts, is sometimes used to evaluate the government’s overall fiscal situation.  Click here to verify
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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