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This year, it has surged to about 27 percent. But they aim to bring spending down to 22 percent of G.D.P. in a few years. And most of the increase, they insist, is caused by the aging of the population and the rise of mandatory entitlement spending. It’s not caused by big increases in the welfare state.

Well, I supposed if you can move mountains, raise the dead, and heal the sick, there is no reason to believe that you could not also change the meaning of what is in the dictionary.

Here is another goodie:

The White House has produced a chart showing nondefense discretionary spending as a share of G.D.P. That’s spending for education, welfare and all the stuff that Democrats love. Since 1985, this spending has hovered around 3.7 percent of G.D.P. This year, it’s about 4.6 percent. The White House claims that it is going to reduce this spending to 3.1 percent by 2019, lower than at any time in any recent Republican administration. I was invited to hang this chart on my wall and judge them by how well they meet these targets. (I have.)

How many of you want to take a guess at how the Democrats’ health care spending is going to be classified? I will publicly embarrass myself if they manage to be honest and include that in nondefense discretionary spending. Look where Medicare falls now. And figure out how they plan to expand toward national health care. Just calling spending nondiscretionary does not make it prudent, and it does not mean you do not have the ability to reduce it. What was that old saying about statistics?

Read David Brooks’ entire column.

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