|Your government in action|
People who keep saying government should spend more to grow the economy more don't want to confront the fact that despite the growth in real federal outlays between fiscal 2000 and fiscal 2012, real GDP growth has lagged far behind by a ratio of 2.77 to 1.
Federal outlays in fiscal 2000 (in 2005 dollars) were $2.0406 trillion, and $3.2125 trillion in 2012, according to the Tax Policy Center, here. That's an increase in real spending of 57.4% over the period.
Contrast that with real GDP. On October 1, 2000 real GDP stood at $11.325 trillion. Twelve years later it was only $13.6654 trillion, an increase in real GDP of only 20.7% over the same years.
If federal spending counts just as much as private spending for GDP, it's not self-evident from these numbers that the higher rate of spending is doing anything to boost real GDP. Quite the opposite.
A more prudent way to look at would be to say that maybe all those federal expenditures in excess of the 20.7% of real economic growth were wasted, even destroyed, and that in fiscal 2012 real federal spending should have been $750 billion less than it was.
Meanwhile the bureaucrats scream bloody murder over a lousy $85 billion across the board spending cut for 2013.
Cutting off a drunk is never pretty.
On the other hand, he probably won't remember who last put a foot in his ass, either.