U.S. Federal Government Budget Over Time
1) This chart was created from historical tables included in the U.S. Federal Government fiscal year 2011 budget. The federal
government adjusted its fiscal year one calendar quarter (3 months) during 1976, creating a 'transition quarter,' which has been
neglected in this chart.
2) The chart shows the total federal budget, or how much it spent during each fiscal year from 1962 to 2009, with projections
3) The line with blue circles shows the budget in current dollars, neglecting inflation. Inflation reduces the buying power of the
dollar over time.
4) The line with purple triangles shows the budget adjusted for inflation, where the data has been scaled to the constant dollar
value during fiscal year 2005. Inflation-adjusted values are also referred to as 'real' values.
5) Inflation values used to calculate the inflation-adjusted debt were also collected from historical tables included in the fiscal
2011 U.S. Federal Government budget.
6) From the inflation-adjusted budget data, one can see that the real spending has grown steadily during this time period, and
accelerated, first in the year 2002, flattened in 2006, then accelerated even more in 2008.
7) The growth in current dollar spending is planned to continue to grow at a high rate, from $2600 billion to $3800 billion
between 2006 to 2011, then drop back a bit to $3700 billion in 2012, then continue upward to $4400 billion by 2015.
8) This chart doesn't tell us anything about the spending relative to the size of the population. See U.S. Federal Government
Budget per Resident Over Time.
9) This chart doesn't tell us anything about the spending relative to the size of the economy, or Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
See U.S. Federal Government Budget as a Percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) Over Time.
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