Assessing The Administration's Five-Year Appropriation "Caps"
Administration's Five-Year Caps on Appropriations Would Lead to Substantial Reductions in Important Domestic Programs
 In 2006 and 2007, there would be separate caps on each of four categories of discretionary programs: highways, mass transit, defense, and nondefense. (For highways and mass transit, there would be caps only on outlays. For defense and nondefense, there would be caps on both outlays and budget authority). In 2008 and 2009, there would again be separate outlay caps for the highway and mass transit categories, but a single set of caps would apply to all other discretionary programs, including both defense and non-defense discretionary programs (except for highways and mass transit). In 2010, there would be an outlay cap and a budget authority cap that would apply to all discretionary programs, including highways and mass transit.
 See James Horney, Robert Greenstein, and Richard Kogan, “What the President’s Budget Shows About the Administration’s Priorities,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, revised February 9, 2005.
 Between 1990 and 1998, when most observers believe caps were effective in holding down discretionary spending, domestic discretionary spending expenditures declined as a share of GDP by slightly more than 0.1 percent. Under the caps proposed by the Administration, domestic discretionary expenditures would decline as a share of GDP by about 0.8 percent in five years (unless the Department of Defense, homeland security, and international affairs were funded at levels below those included in the President’s budget).
 The OMB documents show total year-by-year funding levels by subfunction, as well as year-by-year levels for mandatory programs alone within each subfunction. The Administration’s levels of discretionary funding by subfunction simply equal its total levels by subfunction minus its mandatory levels by subfunction. See Sharon Parrott, Isaac Shapiro, David Kamin, and Ruth Carlitz, “Unpublished Administration Documents Show Domestic Cuts Would Significantly Reduce Funding for Most Public Services,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, revised February 14, 2005.
Because the budget omits funding details for individual programs after 2006, we know the funding levels for homeland security in total but not by budget function. In our overall total of $214 billion in cuts over five years, we are able to pull out the increases in homeland security. We cannot do so, however, in the various domestic program areas.
It also should be noted that the part of the budget that would be reduced $214 billion over five years includes programs outside of the Defense Department that are considered part of the defense budget function, such as atomic energy programs of the Energy Department. The OMB documents provide budget data in a way that necessitates such an approach.
 These estimates do not include the effects of proposed obligation limits for certain transportation programs. These obligation limits determine the level of resources available for most highway and mass transit programs, but for technical reasons are not counted as budget authority and, therefore, are not included in the information about discretionary funding provided by the Administration. If adjustments were made to the Administration’s proposed levels of discretionary funding to account for increases in highway and mass transit assumed in the budget (an adjustment we cannot make because the Administration has not provided information about proposed obligation limits in 2010), it is likely that the overall transportation function and the ground transportation subfunction would show an increase in 2010 instead of a decrease.
 For a detailed description of the data sources and the calculations involved, see Ruth Carlitz, “Domestic Discretionary Funding Levels for 2006 through 2010, Detailed Data,” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, February 15, 2005.
 This analysis only considers funding under Titles I and II of the Ryan White Care Act. The other funding under the Ryan White Care Act does not go to states and cities on a formula basis but is awarded on a competitive basis to individual service providers.