With fiscal year 2012 spending bills now at the brink of completion, The Heritage Foundation’s Appropriations Tracker: FY 2012 has been updated to reflect the final tally.
Combined with three bills enacted in November, the massive “megabus” legislation under consideration today brings total base discretionary budget authority to $1.0429 trillion, effectively equal to the excessive level allowed by the Budget Control Act (BCA), the product of the summer-long debt ceiling debate. It is $31.6 billion above the House-passed budget resolution (H. Con. Res. 34).
The House budget, passed in April—a bold plan to put the government on a path to fiscal sanity—provided for $1.019 trillion in discretionary spending. It was the only real budget to pass either chamber of Congress and hence the only budget with any claim to legitimacy.
But adding to the final appropriations total is $10.4 billion in “disaster” relief funding—$2.3 billion approved in November and another $8.1 billion in the current megabus—that is not counted against the BCA cap. So the real total of base discretionary spending is $1.053 trillion. That is $1 billion more than base discretionary spending (including disaster relief) in 2011, a year in which the deficit was $1.3 trillion.
In short, despite congressional claims of spending “cuts” and budget discipline, spending in fact continues to rise—and American taxpayers continue to pick up the tab.