In 2008 the US gov't spent ~2.9 trillion dollars. In 2009 the US gov't spent ~3.5 trillion dollars, much of it in supposedly temporary stimulus money.
So 2010 should see a decrease in what the gov't spent, since so much temporary spending was finished, instead was see ~3.5 trillion spent again. 2011 sees ~3.6 trillion in spending and 2012 is estimated to be about 3.8 trillion in spending.
Those have nothing to do with tax cuts, those are pure spending increase. In 5 years the spending outlays by the US gov't will have increase from ~2.7 trillion to ~3.8 trillion, much of it done in the name of getting the economy going, which the spending has failed to do. That's about a 41% increase in outlays while the US GDP was barely growing, to me that's unacceptable and irresponsible behavior.
This spending also increased out debt, which hurts future economic growth.
From this chart you can visually pick out the stimulus that lasted several years. After that we kind of level off, you are asking why there is no drop but that ignores historically that we spend more over time with inflation. The current level's of spending fit the projected and then see that natural rise in spending is basically on par with the rate it was growing at before. I would say we are only about 100-200billion higher then what we would have under a consistent linear projection, this small (but higher then otherwise expected) rise there can probably be attributed to the rise in unemployment insurance or other recession side effects that were not plaguing annual national spending between 2002 and 2008.
This might help clear up what I am trying to say, forgive the crude paintbrush skills...
Red would roughly translate to stimulus spending, the Green is basically an additional increase (to the ever increasing) mandatory spending, the result of the recession. To me this is only about 100b, but if I had the actual data it might translate to a little more (or less) which is why I gave myself an up to 200b buffer.
Edited by squishyx, 24 September 2012 - 03:04 PM.