Federal Budget Overview

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Source:  Nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office, April 2018 Projections

The $4.1 trillion Federal Budget breaks down as follows in FY 2018:   

  • Social Security:  $984 billion
    Old-Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance.
  • Medicare: $583 billion (Gross Outlays of $707 billion minus $124 billion from premiums and other offsetting receipts)
    Medicare is national health insurance administered by the federal government for people 65 and over and disabled Americans. It is financed by payroll taxes, general tax revenues, premiums and copayments. The above number is total Medicare outlays.
  • Medicaid$383 billion
    Medicaid, financed jointly by the federal and state governments, is administered by the states. It is the major health program for low-income Americans. A large portion of Medicaid pays for long-term care for low-income elderly.
  • Affordable Care Act Subsidies: $58 billion
    Background:  Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA)
  • Other Mandatory (mostly entitlement) Spending: $414 billion:
    “Mandatory spending,” as the words imply, is not discretionary.  Program are considered “mandatory spending” when Congress does not make annual funding decisions on how much to appropriate. Most mandatory spending is comprised of “entitlement programs,” the annual costs of which are driven by benefit formulas written into permanent law.  Spending from entitlement programs can only be changed by amending the underlying laws that established the programs.  Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the largest mandatory spending programs comprising nearly half of the budget, as displayed in the pie chart above.
  • Net Interest on the Debt: $316 billion
    Interest paid on the accumulated Federal debt.  Annual interest payments are projected to reach $1 trillion per year within a decade due to exploding deficits.
  • Defense Discretionary Spending: $622 billion
    Click on “Defense” on the red navigation bar for background and trends on defense spending.
  • Non-defense Discretionary: $658 billion
    Annual appropriations for a multitude of government operations and programs are often known as “non-defense discretionary” — Including law enforcement, veterans health care, homeland security, education, prisons, NASA, disease and epidemic control, highways & bridges, food and drug inspection, disaster relief, airports, health research, housing assistance, and many other functions of government.

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