The budget agreement that emerged from last week’s negotiations literally changes the direction of federal spending. As the chart shows the Obama Administration’s proposed increase in discretionary spending for 2011 has been reversed in the course of the negotiations into an actual decrease in discretionary spending. A year ago the Administration’s budget called for an increase in discretionary spending of about $39 billion. Remarkably the agreement calls for a decrease of about the same amount. No one could have predicted such a turn around one year ago.