How's that spending reduction going?

We still have a long way to go in sorting out the pressing issues facing the nation, and we don’t all agree on the solutions. Foreign policy questions abound, our energy policy is a mess and we still need to bring down those unemployment numbers. But at least there’s one thing we’ve managed to nail down, and that’s spending. Everyone figured out that we have to cut costs and stop running up the deficit, leading us to take quick, substantive action. So… how’s that working out for you? According to the latest CBO report… meh.

CBO: Deficit is on track to be $1.3 trillion

The Congressional Budget Office on Friday said that the federal budget deficit is on track to be $1.3 trillion this year, $14 billion more than the deficit CBO predicted in August.

Despite all the wrangling in the spring between Republicans and Democrats about budget cuts, 2011 saw spending outlays increase by 4.2 percent compared to 2010. This included a 1 percent increase in defense spending and 1 percent increase in Medicaid spending.

Boy, that super committee better come out with a real humdinger, huh?

The usual targets for bloated costs are present once again, with Medicare and Social Security costs rising by 4%. (As if we needed another reminder about entitlement reform.) We’ve had a lot of talk over the last year, but this latest compilation demonstrates that talk is all it was for the most part. The surprising figure in here – at least for some – is the 1% growth in defense spending. I’d assumed, after stupidly listening to our politicians again, that we were already on track to be cutting costs there. Well… maybe next year.

The report goes on to note that this deficit is 8.6 percent of the economy, which puts 2011 on track to be the third highest debt rate in that category since World War 2. The monthly deficit for September, ($64 billion) is nearly $30B higher than in the same period for last year. For a nation that’s been focused on a battle to cut costs for more than a year, this doesn’t really look much like progress to me.

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