Confounding President Bush’s pledges to rein in government growth, federal discretionary spending expanded by 12.5 percent in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, capping a two-year bulge that saw the government grow by more than 27 percent, according to preliminary spending figures from congressional budget panels.
And no, it is not just the war against terrorism:
Much of the increase was driven by war in Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as homeland security spending after the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. But spending has risen on domestic programs such as transportation and agriculture, as well. Total federal spending — including non-discretionary entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid — reached $2.16 trillion in 2003, a 7.3 percent boost, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Here is the full and sad story. You would think that with a (quarterly) growth rate of 7.2 percent, the rate of growth of major spending categories would be lower than that figure, but alas not.