Tax Fact #34: Memo to Bill Clinton, We Can’t Afford Your $1.1 Trillion in New Spending

To understand why Bill Clinton believes that the government cannot afford to give taxpayers $792 billion in tax relief (out of $3 trillion in projected budget surpluses over the next ten years), its instructive to look back on the budget he submitted to Congress earlier this year. According to the Congressional Budget Office’s (CBO’s) analysis of the President’s budget, Clinton wants to use the money Republicans have now earmarked for tax cuts – plus an additional $300 billion – to fund a $1.1 trillion expansion of government.

What makes Clinton’s proposed new spending even more remarkable is the fact that under CBO’s “baseline” forecast, federal spending is already expected to rise 38 percent over the next ten years. CBO expects total federal spending to grow from roughly $1.7 trillion in FY 1999, to more than $2.34 trillion in FY 2009. But Clinton’s new spending proposals would push total spending to more than $2.5 trillion in FY 2009, a 47 percent increase over this year’s level.

CBO also found the Clinton budget would:

Increase discretionary spending by $476 billion over the next ten years;

Spend $280 billion on a risky scheme to have government bureaucrats invest in private companies;

Transfer more than $1.3 trillion out of the general fund into Social Security – the first ever explicit use of income tax dollars to subsidize Social Security;

Given a choice between a $782 billion tax cut and $1.1 trillion in new spending, its clear that most taxpayers would chose a tax cut.