Budget Easter Egg: Discretionary Spending

This is an important number: non-defense discretionary spending in the FY 2010 budget increases by 9%, a consequence of the stimulus package, TARP and other recovery spending.  In 2011, the budget outline projects a decline of about one percent, from $675 billion to $656 billion.  In 2012, the drop is even sharper -- around 5%. This portion of the budget held constant for three years. Then, in 2015, it begins to rise again, hitting $686 billion (in current dollars) by 2019.    The budget projects that the cost of entitlement programs -- Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security, will stay relatively constant (in real dollars) through 2013 -- about 2,000,000.  But in the six years after the end of Obama's first term, the figure rises by 1 trillion dollars.