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The Spending Cliff

By Michael Tanner, National Review - January 3, 2013

Twenty-three point nine trillion dollars.

That will be our national debt in 2022 under the fiscal-cliff bill that just passed Congress. That’s nearly $4 trillion more than the current-law baseline, and while most of that comes from making the Bush tax cuts permanent for most Americans without offsetting the loss of revenue through spending cuts, at least $330 billion of the new debt results from the increased spending that was part of the deal. Our government debt will amount to more than 118 percent of GDP.

So the deal not only fails to cut spending, it also simply tosses more money on top of the spending increases that were already built into future budgets. Now the federal government will spend $5.5 trillion in 2022, compared with $3.5 trillion this year. We will be spending $2 trillion more per year and facing $1.5 trillion more in debt than if federal spending were to rise commensurate with population growth plus inflation over the next ten years.

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