May 22, 2017

How Much Do Discretionary Spending Programs Cost?

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This chart shows the amount of money our government spends on select non-defense programs determined through the annual congressional appropriations process. While this category is targeted the most for "spending restraint," it makes up only about one-third of the federal budget. Cutting International Affairs spending, often pointed to as a solution for the budget deficit, only makes up about 1 percent of all spending.

Source: Congressional Budget Office, January 2016

About the Issue

  • The federal budget is an expression of our country's values. Where we choose to spend and at what levels, how and who we tax, and the borrowing we...

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