In recent years Congress has slashed non-defense discretionary spending close to its lowest point in half a century. In his new column for Bloomberg View, CFR Adjunct Senior Fellow Peter Orszag observes that the new budget that Congress has put forth would continue to cut discretionary spending as a percentage of GDP over the next decade. This means that funding for agencies like the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the National Institutes of Health, the Food and Drug Administration, and the Transportation Security Administration would continue to shrink relative to the economy as a whole--and the country's growing population. If Congress continues to employ budget games and cut into essential government services, he writes, the result would be an economic disaster.
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