In a Washington Examiner article, a member of the Senate Budget Committee was asked for a monetary estimate of what percentage of the government is shut down after exempting the military:

a Republican member of Congress mentioned that the military pay act, passed by Congress and signed by President Obama at the beginning of the shutdown, is actually a huge percentage of the government's discretionary spending in any given year. And that is still flowing. So if you took that money, and added it to all the entitlement spending that is unaffected by a shutdown, plus all the areas of spending that are exempted from a shutdown, and added it all together, how much of the federal government's total spending is still underway even though the government is technically shut down?

I asked a Republican source on the Senate Budget Committee for an estimate. This was the answer: "Based on estimates drawn from CBO and OMB data, 83 percent of government operations will continue. This figure assumes that the government pays amounts due on appropriations obligated before the shutdown ($512 billion), spends $225 billion on exempted military and civilian personnel, pays entitlement benefits for those found eligible before the shutdown (about $2 trillion), and pays interest costs when due ($237 billion). This is about 83 percent of projected 2014 spending of $3.6 trillion."

So the government shutdown, at least as measured by money spent, is really a 17 percent government shutdown.

When compared to 2000 levels of spending, is this an increase/decrease in federal government spending (in real dollars) per citizen? (pre/post the government shutdown)

How much has the median US households income increased/decreased in real dollars since 2000?

How does compensation for federal public sector vs. private sector employees compare over that time period?

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    I upvoted the question, but typically one looks at government spending as a percentage of GDP. That's a much better measure, because it shows the proportion of the economy as a percentage thereof. Total Government spending increases in real terms (and nominal terms) every year because there are simply more people. Just to match the same amount of service per person, government must necessarily grow. Oct 7, 2013 at 17:21
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    Comparing Median Household income in Real (CPI) dollars just gives you "The workers get what the bosses want." You want % government expenditure of GDP. Oct 7, 2013 at 22:06
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    It would be interesting to know why you want to know, and perhaps we could give you a more appropriate/tailored answer. In general that might be a nice feature to add to the site.
    – Mr. A
    Oct 7, 2013 at 22:11
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    Yes but I do not know which measures to use, or if it is even necessary to use measures; I could explain that everything is more or less anecdotal.
    – Mr. A
    Oct 8, 2013 at 13:32
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    I am not sure that the Gov employees vs private sector adds value to the question. I suspect a good question could be written to explore the growth or lack of growth of government once you have a solid authoritative answer to the original question. Oct 8, 2013 at 14:04


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