• Thank Goodness for Gridlock

      Here's the bad news: Last year, government spent hundreds of billions of dollars more than it did at the end of the big-spending Bush administration.

      But good news: spending has basically flattened.

      It actually fell a little, according to the CBO: From 2011 to 2012 the budget shrank $61 billion.

      That's mainly because the following spending categories fell:

      -Military spending: -$25

      -General health services: -$24 billion

      -Other income security programs: -$24

      -Medicare: -$13 billion

      -Interest payments: -$9 billion

      -Housing assistance: -$7 billion

      What grew most was entitlements, as my baby boom generation retires (not me!). Social Security spending rose $42 billion.

      The CBO predicts spending will fall slightly again in 2013 thanks to the sequester, but then start increasing again as Social Security and Medicare spiral out of control.

      Obama's proposed budget would increase spending even faster than that. And Republicans, when they were in power under Bush, increased the size of government faster than ever.

      So it's a good thing that politicians in Washington can't seem to agree on anything right now.

      Government Spending