WSJ: The 2010 Spending Record

“Perhaps you missed it, but then so did the Washington press corps. Late last week the Congressional Budget Office released its preliminary budget tallies for fiscal year 2010, and the news is that the U.S. government had another fabulous year—in spending your money. We didn’t expect President Obama to hold a press conference, but why are Republicans so quiet?

“Spending rolled in for the year that ended September 30 at $3.45 trillion, second only to 2009’s $3.52 trillion in the record books. But don’t think this means Washington was relatively less spendthrift. CBO reports that the modest overall spending decline results from three one-time events.

“The costs of TARP declined by $262 billion from 2009 as banks repaid their bailout cash, payments to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were $51 billion lower (though still a $40 billion net loser for the taxpayer), and deposit insurance payments fell by $55 billion year over year. “Excluding those three programs, spending rose by about 9 percent in 2010, somewhat faster than in recent years,” CBO says.

“Somewhat faster. You’ve got to laugh, or cry, when a 9% annual increase qualifies as only “somewhat faster” than normal.”

Read more at The Wall Street Journal.