How Fast Has US Government Spending Increased Over the Years?





-- Outline of United States - Sad expression  - Clipart --While the “Great Recession” was in full bloom (fall of 2008), most people didn’t really care about the amount of money that the United States government was committing to help pull the country out of its tailspin.

Fast forward a couple of years, and the public is seemingly growing more and more concerned about the amount of money that the government is spending. Trillion dollar plus deficits are adding to an already incredible national debt load, and people are understandably getting worried.

Without pointing fingers at any one group or person, I thought that it would be interesting to run some numbers to see just how much spending has increased, especially over the past couple of years.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has a pile of historical data listed on their site. The data that we used for this article was contained in Table 1.4 - Receipts, Outlays, and Surpluses or Deficits by Fund Group.

We took this data and performed a few calculations. I was interested to see not only the government spending figures by total dollars, but also how these numbers compared to previous years. In addition, I also adjusted receipts and outlays for inflation.

Here is the raw data, starting from 1934 and including projections for 2011 to 2015:



-- US Government Spending in Billions (Inflation Adjusted) - 1934 - 2015 --


Year: 1934
Receipts: $2,955,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $47,782,000,000
Outlays: $6,541,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $105,768,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: n/a

Year: 1935
Receipts: $3,609,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $57,094,000,000
Outlays: $6,412,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $101,438,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: -1.97%

Year: 1936
Receipts: $3,923,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $61,160,000,000
Outlays: $8,228,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $128,275,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 28.32

Year: 1937
Receipts: $5,387,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $81,074,000,000
Outlays: $7,580,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $114,079,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: -7.88

Year: 1938
Receipts: $6,751,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $103,763,000,000
Outlays: $6,840,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $105,131,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: -9.76

Year: 1939
Receipts: $6,295,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $98,139,000,000
Outlays: $9,141,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $142,508,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 33.64

Year: 1940
Receipts: $6,548,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $101,363,000,000
Outlays: $9,468,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $146,565,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 3.58

Year: 1941
Receipts: $8,712,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $128,415,000,000
Outlays: $13,653,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $201,245,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 44.20

Year: 1942
Receipts: $14,634,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $194,632,000,000
Outlays: $35,137,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $467,322,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 157.36

Year: 1943
Receipts: $24,001,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $300,733,000,000
Outlays: $78,555,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $984,294,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 123.57

Year: 1944
Receipts: $43,747,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $538,526,000,000
Outlays: $91,304,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,123,952,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 16.23

Year: 1945
Receipts: $45,159,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $543,714,000,000
Outlays: $92,712,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,116,252,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 1.54

Year: 1946
Receipts: $39,296,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $436,579,000,000
Outlays: $55,232,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $613,628,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: -40.43

Year: 1947
Receipts: $38,514,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $374,356,000,000
Outlays: $34,496,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $335,301,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: -37.54

Year: 1948
Receipts: $41,560,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $373,624,000,000
Outlays: $29,764,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $267,578,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: -13.72

Year: 1949
Receipts: $39,415,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $359,071,000,000
Outlays: $38,835,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $353,787,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 30.48

Year: 1950
Receipts: $39,443,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $354,593,000,000
Outlays: $42,562,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $382,632,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 9.60

Year: 1951
Receipts: $51,616,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $430,477,000,000
Outlays: $45,514,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $379,587,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 6.94

Year: 1952
Receipts: $66,167,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $541,246,000,000
Outlays: $67,686,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $553,671,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 48.71

Year: 1953
Receipts: $69,608,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $565,217,000,000
Outlays: $76,101,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $617,940,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 12.43

Year: 1954
Receipts: $69,701,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $561,790,000,000
Outlays: $70,855,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $571,091,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: -6.89

Year: 1955
Receipts: $65,451,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $529,499,000,000
Outlays: $68,444,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $553,712,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: -3.40

Year: 1956
Receipts: $74,587,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $594,458,000,000
Outlays: $70,640,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $563,001,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 3.21

Year: 1957
Receipts: $79,990,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $616,723,000,000
Outlays: $76,578,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $590,416,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 8.41

Year: 1958
Receipts: $79,636,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $597,270,000,000
Outlays: $82,405,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $618,038,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 7.61

Year: 1959
Receipts: $79,249,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $590,405,000,000
Outlays: $92,098,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $686,130,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 11.76

Year: 1960
Receipts: $92,492,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $677,041,000,000
Outlays: $92,191,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $674,838,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 0.10

Year: 1961
Receipts: $94,388,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $684,313,000,000
Outlays: $97,723,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $708,492,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 6.00

Year: 1962
Receipts: $99,676,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $715,674,000,000
Outlays: $106,821,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $766,975,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 9.31

Year: 1963
Receipts: $106,560,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $754,445,000,000
Outlays: $111,316,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $788,117,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 4.21

Year: 1964
Receipts: $112,613,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $787,165,000,000
Outlays: $118,528,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $828,511,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 6.48

Year: 1965
Receipts: $116,817,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $803,701,000,000
Outlays: $118,228,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $813,409,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: -0.25

Year: 1966
Receipts: $130,835,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $875,286,000,000
Outlays: $134,532,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $900,019,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 13.79

Year: 1967
Receipts: $148,822,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $965,855,000,000
Outlays: $157,464,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,021,941,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 17.05

Year: 1968
Receipts: $152,973,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $953,022,000,000
Outlays: $178,134,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,109,775,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 13.13

Year: 1969
Receipts: $186,882,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,104,473,000,000
Outlays: $183,640,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,085,312,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 3.09

Year: 1970
Receipts: $192,807,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,077,791,000,000
Outlays: $195,649,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,093,678,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 6.54

Year: 1971
Receipts: $187,139,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,001,194,000,000
Outlays: $210,172,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,124,420,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 7.42

Year: 1972
Receipts: $207,309,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,075,934,000,000
Outlays: $230,681,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,197,234,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 9.76

Year: 1973
Receipts: $230,799,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,126,299,000,000
Outlays: $245,707,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,199,050,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 6.51

Year: 1974
Receipts: $263,224,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,158,186,000,000
Outlays: $269,359,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,185,180,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 9.63

Year: 1975
Receipts: $279,090,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,124,733,000,000
Outlays: $332,332,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,339,298,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 23.38

Year: 1976
Receipts: $298,060,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,135,609,000,000
Outlays: $371,792,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,416,528,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 11.87

Year: 1977
Receipts: $355,559,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,272,901,000,000
Outlays: $409,218,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,465,000,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 10.07

Year: 1978
Receipts: $399,561,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,326,543,000,000
Outlays: $458,746,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,523,037,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 12.10

Year: 1979
Receipts: $463,302,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,385,273,000,000
Outlays: $504,028,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,507,044,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 9.87

Year: 1980
Receipts: $517,112,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,360,005,000,000
Outlays: $590,941,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,554,175,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 17.24

Year: 1981
Receipts: $599,272,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,426,267,000,000
Outlays: $678,241,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,614,214,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 14.77

Year: 1982
Receipts: $617,766,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,389,974,000,000
Outlays: $745,743,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,677,922,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 9.95

Year: 1983
Receipts: $600,562,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,309,225,000,000
Outlays: $808,364,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,762,234,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 8.40

Year: 1984
Receipts: $666,438,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,392,855,000,000
Outlays: $851,805,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,780,272,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 5.37

Year: 1985
Receipts: $734,037,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,475,414,000,000
Outlays: $946,344,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,902,151,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 11.10

Year: 1986
Receipts: $769,155,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,522,927,000,000
Outlays: $990,382,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,960,956,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 4.65

Year: 1987
Receipts: $854,288,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,631,690,000,000
Outlays: $1,004,017,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,917,672,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 1.38

Year: 1988
Receipts: $909,238,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,663,906,000,000
Outlays: $1,064,416,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $1,947,881,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 6.02

Year: 1989
Receipts: $991,105,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,734,434,000,000
Outlays: $1,143,744,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,001,552,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 7.45

Year: 1990
Receipts: $1,031,972,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,713,074,000,000
Outlays: $1,253,007,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,079,992,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 9.55

Year: 1991
Receipts: $1,054,996,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,677,444,000,000
Outlays: $1,324,234,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,105,532,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 5.68

Year: 1992
Receipts: $1,091,223,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,680,483,000,000
Outlays: $1,381,543,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,127,576,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 4.33

Year: 1993
Receipts: $1,154,341,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,731,512,000,000
Outlays: $1,409,392,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,114,088,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 2.02

Year: 1994
Receipts: $1,258,579,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,837,525,000,000
Outlays: $1,461,766,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,134,178,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 3.72

Year: 1995
Receipts: $1,351,801,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $1,919,557,000,000
Outlays: $1,515,753,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,152,369,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 3.69

Year: 1996
Receipts: $1,453,055,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,005,216,000,000
Outlays: $1,560,486,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,153,471,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 2.95

Year: 1997
Receipts: $1,579,240,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,131,974,000,000
Outlays: $1,601,124,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,161,517,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 2.60

Year: 1998
Receipts: $1,721,733,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,289,905,000,000
Outlays: $1,652,463,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,197,776,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 3.21

Year: 1999
Receipts: $1,827,459,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,375,697,000,000
Outlays: $1,701,849,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,212,404,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 2.99

Year: 2000
Receipts: $2,025,198,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,551,749,000,000
Outlays: $1,788,957,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,254,086,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 5.12

Year: 2001
Receipts: $1,991,142,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,429,193,000,000
Outlays: $1,862,906,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,272,745,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 4.13

Year: 2002
Receipts: $1,853,149,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,223,779,000,000
Outlays: $2,010,907,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,413,088,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 7.94

Year: 2003
Receipts: $1,782,321,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,103,139,000,000
Outlays: $2,159,906,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,548,689,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 7.41

Year: 2004
Receipts: $1,880,126,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,162,145,000,000
Outlays: $2,292,853,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,636,781,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 6.16

Year: 2005
Receipts: $2,153,625,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,390,524,000,000
Outlays: $2,471,971,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,743,888,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 7.81

Year: 2006
Receipts: $2,406,876,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,599,426,000,000
Outlays: $2,655,057,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,867,462,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 7.41

Year: 2007
Receipts: $2,568,001,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,696,401,000,000
Outlays: $2,728,702,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $2,865,137,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 2.77

Year: 2008
Receipts: $2,523,999,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,549,239,000,000
Outlays: $2,982,554,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $3,012,380,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 9.30

Year: 2009
Receipts: $2,104,995,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,126,045,000,000
Outlays: $3,517,681,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $3,552,858,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 17.94

Year: 2010
Receipts: $2,165,119,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,165,119,000,000
Outlays: $3,720,701,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $3,720,701,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 5.77

Year: 2011
Receipts: $2,567,181,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,567,181,000,000
Outlays: $3,833,861,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $3,833,861,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 3.04

Year: 2012
Receipts: $2,926,400,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $2,926,400,000,000
Outlays: $3,754,852,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $3,754,852,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: -2.06

Year: 2013
Receipts: $3,188,115,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $3,188,115,000,000
Outlays: $3,915,443,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $3,915,443,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 4.28

Year: 2014
Receipts: $3,455,451,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $3,455,451,000,000
Outlays: $4,161,230,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $4,161,230,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 6.28

Year: 2015
Receipts: $3,633,679,000,000
Receipts (Inflation Adjusted): $3,633,679,000,000
Outlays: $4,385,531,000,000
Outlays (Inflation Adjusted): $4,385,531,000,000

% Change in Spending From Previous Year: 5.39

--

As you can see, the top ten years that saw the biggest increases in spending from previous years were:

1942, +157.36%
1943, +123.57%
1952, +48.71%
1941, +44.20%
1939, +33.64%
1949, +30.48%
1936, +28.32%
1975, +23.38%
2009, +17.94%
1980, +17.24%

As you can see, the US entry into WWII resulted in significantly increased government spending (for obvious reasons). This massive increase in government spending helped to finally lift the country out of an economic malaise that had been bogging down the country since the start of the “Great Depression”.

2009 was actually ninth on the list in terms of highest spending increase (as a %) as compared to the previous year. It was the $ figures that made 2009 seem like a particularly terrible year - I mean, the US government spent more than $1.4 trillion more than they took in last year.

As you can also see, the government spending increases during the mid to late ‘90s were quite moderate (historically speaking). In 2002, spending really started to increase, climbing up nearly 8% from the year before.

In 2009, the country was hit by a double whammy - a dramatic decrease in receipts (down over $400 billion from 2008) and a dramatic increase in spending (up over $500 billion from the year before). 2010 is more of the same as receipts will only be moderately better than 2009, but spending is set to increase by another $200 billion.

Looking forward, the White House has pegged 2012 as the year when spending will actually drop (-$80 billion or so) and receipts will dramatically increase (+$350 billion or so, according to White House projections). These projections are contingent on an improving job market in the country.

One last thing - it’s amazing to see, in inflation adjusted dollars, just how much government revenues and spending have increased over the past 50-70 years.

In 1934, the US government took in about $47.7 billion in inflation adjusted dollars and spent about $105.7 billion. 76 years later, and the US government is projected to take in about $2.16 trillion, and spend about $3.7 trillion.

Source: Office of Management and Budget - Historical Tables




Filed under: General Knowledge

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