Federal Spending Up 40 Percent Since 2019

Article originally appeared on amac.us.

Federal spending jumped from $4.45 trillion in 2019 to $6.21 trillion in 2023, according to the Congressional Budget Office. That is a 40 percent increase in four years. The pandemic supercharged the federal budget, and spending and deficits are expected to continue rising unless policymakers pursue major reforms.

What is all the new spending since 2019? The answer is surprising, as shown in the two tables below. The main drivers of the recent increases have not been the largest three programs—Social Security, Medicare, and defense—but rather rapid growth in numerous other programs.

Table 1 shows CBO spending for 2019 and baseline estimates for 2023. The largest increases have been nondefense discretionary, Medicaid, veterans, food stamps, health tax credits, welfare, school food programs, and interest. All data in both tables are fiscal year outlays.

Some of the 2023 spending is temporary and should …

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