December 27, 2009 3:40 PM

Despite Obama's campaign vow, federal budget still a mess

2009 was supposed to be the year that federal budgeting was finally done smoothly and efficiently. It didn't happen. Spending on discretionary items, or those under White House and congressional control, is expected to run about 4 percent higher than last year, well above the rate of inflation. Still, that's less than the 7.5 percent annual average increase of the last 10 years.

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