Citizens for Tax Justice 1616 P Street, NW, Washington, DC 20036 202-299-1066
MONDAY, JANUARY 23, 2006, 3 PAGES
CONTACT: Bob McIntyre
Bush Continues to Fund More than a Quarter of
Non-Social Security Spending with Borrowed Money
Since President George W. Bush’s tax cuts took effect in 2001, more than a quarter of all
federal spending outside of the self-funded Social Security system has been paid for by
borrowing—with no relief in sight.
From fiscal 2002 through fiscal 2005, deficits in the regular budget totaled a staggering $2
trillion, meaning that 27 percent of non-Social Security spending was financed with borrowed
money. In fiscal 2006 so far, 30 percent of non-Social Security spending has been paid for by
another $0.2 trillion in borrowing.
President Bush’s return to huge deficit spending represents a sharp break from his
predecessor’s policies. During President Bill Clinton’s second term, the government actually
ran surpluses in the regular budget (as well as in Social Security) and began paying down the
national debt. The new level of deficit spending exceeds the level during the Reagan
administration (25 percent) and is just short of the record set by in the George Herbert Walker
Bush administration, when deficits in the regular budget averaged 28 percent of spending.
Prior to the Reagan administration, the level of
deficit-financed spending was much lower.
# President Truman balanced his budgets,
on average, from fiscal 1947 through
# The Eisenhower administration financed
only 3 percent of non-Social Security
spending with borrowing.
# The Kennedy-Johnson administrations
financed only 6 percent of regular
spending with debt, and left office with
an essentially balanced budget in fiscal
# Deficit-financed spending rose in the
1970s, to 14 percent under Nixon-Ford
and 13 percent during the Carter
administration, but that was still less than
half the current level.
Tax cuts enacted since 2001, costing $244 billion
in fiscal 2005, including associated increases in