Thursday, June 21, 2018
Business

PolitiFact: Rep. Dennis Ross says U.S. spending has fallen two straight years for first time since Korean War

The statement

"For the first time since the Korean War, total federal spending has gone down for two years in a row."

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, in a Tampa Bay Times op-ed

The ruling

U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, R-Lakeland, is one of a small group of Republicans calling for an end to the government shutdown.

After all, Republicans have succeeded in reining in government spending, Ross wrote in an op-ed in the Tampa Bay Times on Oct. 7.

"In the few years since I was elected to Congress in 2010, we have achieved huge savings and taken monumental steps. For the first time since the Korean War, total federal spending has gone down for two years in a row," Ross wrote. "That is why I would support a continuing resolution that funds the government at sequestration levels for one year."

A reader asked us whether Ross was correct that, "for the first time since the Korean War, total federal spending has gone down for two years in a row." We thought the claim was interesting, and we decided to check it out.

By the most basic measure we found that Ross is right.

The Korean War was an active conflict through the signing of a truce on July 26, 1953, so we counted starting in 1953.

Between 1953 and 1955, federal spending fell each year, from $76.1 billion to $70.9 billion to $68.4 billion, according to the Office of Management and Budget. By 1956, spending had edged up again, to $70.6 billion.

After that, spending almost always went up every year, at least until recently. It fell for one year between 1964 and 1965, and then once again between 2009 and 2010.

But the only time it fell two years in a row was between 2011 and 2013. In 2011, federal outlays were $3.6 trillion. Outlays fell to $3.54 trillion in 2012, and the Congressional Budget Office projects the figure to fall to $3.46 trillion in 2013.

We should note that this is not the only way to measure a claim like this. Sometimes, raw dollars aren't an especially useful measurement for analyzing long periods of history, especially when talking about things that are growing. Inflation, population growth and economic expansion almost inevitably make the most recent year the largest ever. However, in this case, we think that using raw dollars is an acceptable measurement. That's because reductions in spending mean swimming against the tide of inflation and growth.

We rate the statement True.

Louis Jacobson, Times staff writer. Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

Comments
Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

Pride divided no more: St. Pete Pride comes back together

ST. PETERSBURG — The 16th annual St. Pete Pride Parade is getting ready to march along the downtown waterfront the second straight year. But many hope to move past the division caused last year when the parade was uprooted from its original hom...
Updated: 9 minutes ago
Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

Domain Homes: Buyers love them, some others don’t

TAMPA — When the 2008 financial crash brought down the nation’s housing market, hundreds of home builders went out of business. Among them was Sharon McSwain Homes in Atlanta, forced to liquidate in 2009.But just as developers like to develop, builde...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

Armature Works developers sue Ulele and city of Tampa over use of nearby building

TAMPA — Two of the city’s hottest developers — the companies behind Ulele and the Armature Works — are heading to court over control of an old city building that sits between the hit eateries. Both want to redevelop the city&...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Orlando airport first to scan faces of U.S. citizens on international flights

Associated PressFlorida’s busiest airport is becoming the first in the nation to require a face scan of passengers on all arriving and departing international flights, including U.S. citizens, according to officials there. The expected announcement T...
Published: 06/21/18
Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Saboteur or whistleblower? Battle between Elon Musk and former Tesla employee turns ugly, exposing internal rancor

Hours after Tesla had sued its former employee on charges he had stolen company secrets, and days after chief Elon Musk had called him a saboteur, the Silicon Valley automaker made a startling claim. The company had received a call from a friend of t...
Published: 06/21/18
WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

WTR Pool and Grille brings ‘fun dining’ pool party scene to Tampa

Mike Piper has traveled to Las Vegas and Miami and enjoyed the fun, daytime, party pool scene that the two cities have to offer.Now he aims to bring that same atmosphere to Tampa with a new dining and hang out spot. WTR Pool & Grill opened on Sunday ...
Published: 06/21/18
Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

Grace Family Church gives thrift stores an upgrade in South Tampa

A new resale store has made its way to South Tampa. Grace Family Church recently opened Vintage Etc., to provide affordable, quality merchandise to the community and continue its outreach to help families in need in a loving Christian environment. "W...
Published: 06/21/18
2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

2.4 million Floridians expected to travel for Fourth of July

Summer has officially started and so have summer travel plans. About 2.4 million Floridians are expected to travel for the Fourth of July holiday weekend, up 6.3 percent from last year, according to AAA, The Auto Club Group."We are already seeing a b...
Published: 06/21/18
Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison builds in Wesley Chapel

Taylor Morrison will build a new subdivision off of Boyette Road between Wesley Chapel Boulevard and Overpass Road.The builder and developer recently broke ground on Chapel Chase, set on approximately 40 acres just north of New Tampa in Pasco County....
Published: 06/21/18
Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain and Berry Cafe to bring its healthy menu to USF area

Grain & Berry Cafe opened in Palm Harbor, and now the healthy eatery is rapidly expanding throughout the Tampa Bay area.The healthy eatery opened a new location on E Fowler Ave near the University of South Florida in May, just 10 months after opening...
Published: 06/21/18