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Public investment spending proposals

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A weekly presentation of downloadable charts and short analyses designed to graphically illustrate important economic issues. Updated every Wednesday.

Snapshot for September 15, 1999

Public investment spending proposals

The Congress and the president are pursuing the dubious goal of eliminating the national debt, but, as the chart below shows, achieving this goal will entail significant cuts in a broad array of federal programs. These cuts would come after a steady 20-year period of declining resources devoted to public investment.

The chart’s bars represent various discretionary spending scenarios (i.e., public investment spending excluding defense expenditures) over the next 10 years. The bar marked “current services baseline” represents the cost of maintaining the current level of services from fiscal year 2000 to 2009. The “capped baseline” bar represents the amount that can be spent on services through fiscal year 2002, in accordance with the cap imposed by current budget law.

The “Clinton budget” of $3,361 billion is well below the “current services baseline,” and both congressional budget proposals are below the Clinton Administration’s budget proposal. The congressional Democrats’ proposal of $3,323 billion exceeds the capped baseline in aggregate, while the Republicans’ offer of $2,868 billion is well below it.

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Source: EPI analysis of Office of Management and Budget Data, Mid-Session Review.

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