A Project of The Annenberg Public Policy Center

More on that $860 billion


McCain said that Obama has proposed $860 billion in new spending. That’s based on a McCain campaign estimate of how much Obama’s new proposals will cost, without figuring in any savings or reductions in spending. Any increase in funding and any created program counts as “new spending” in this estimate, whether or not it is offset by decreases in spending elsewhere. A more traditional, and arguably more useful, measure of spending is how much a given candidate’s proposals will increase the federal deficit. The nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget evaluated both candidates’ proposals for both spending and saving. The group’s president, Maya MacGuineas, told CNN that by 2013, Obama’s major budget policies would add $286 billion to that year’s deficit, while McCain’s would add $211 billion.