Guess what? “Out-of-control spending” is not out of control

CHART OF THE DAY: ‘Out Of Control Spending’ Not Really Out Of Control At All
Brian Beutler | July 4, 2011, 11:25AM

It’s taken as an article of faith in Washington that government has gotten too big, spending is out of control, and government has to tighten its belt, just like everybody else. Even President Obama takes this view.

This has meant no small consequences for the federal budget. In the spring, Republicans launched an effort to slash tens of billions of dollars from non-defense discretionary programs — money the government approves every year to pay for social services and other programs — from the federal budget. That campaign almost ended in a government shutdown.

That same sliver of the budget is again under attack in the fight over whether to raise the national debt limit. Republicans want to reduce overall domestic spending and cap it for years going forward, so it can’t exceed a set level. That means as time goes on, the population grows, and the cost of goods and services increases, the government will be spending less and less on the people who rely on these programs over time.

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