Washington has cut spending below pre-recession level, CBO finds


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In numeric terms, base discretionary spending has increased 11 percent, from $892 billion to $987 billion. But, adjusting for inflation of 13 percent, the spending is actually a decrease of 2.2 percent. 

Base discretionary funding does not cover war funding and disaster aid. 

The former has decreased as the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have wound down. War spending was $170 billion in 2007 and is now at $92 billion. Hurricane Sandy has pushed disaster spending from $7 billion to $48 billion, however. 

The CBO figures could allow Republicans to take credit for affecting change in Washington and shrinking government, while allowing Democrats to argue that the focus should now be on revenue and not on cutting agency funding.

The CBO numbers do not reflect entitlement spending, which is expected to rise exponentially in the coming decades as the population ages and medical cost inflation continues.