Discretionary spending funds a wide range of government programs
February 01, 2013

SOURCE: Congressional Budget Office, The Budget and Economic Outlook: Fiscal Years 2013 to 2023, February 2013. Compiled by PGPF.
NOTE: Figures are estimates for 2013. Excludes function 990 and functions with negative outlays. Discretionary health spending includes National Institutes of Health, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, veterans’ healthcare, and administrative costs for Medicare and Medicaid.

Discretionary spending results from annual appropriations legislation. The programs in this category of federal spending, representing about 35 percent of the budget for 2013, are some of the most recognizable (other than individual benefit programs), and include national defense, veterans' assistance, the Congress, the White House, the Supreme Court, national parks, law enforcement, education, research and development, and investments in physical infrastructure. Defense takes up more than half of the total discretionary spending budget.

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Peter G. Peterson Foundation Chart Pack:

The PGPF chart pack illustrates that budget-making involves many competing priorities, limited resources, and complex issues. In this set of charts, we aim to frame the financial condition and fiscal outlook of the U.S. government within a broad economic, political, and demographic context.
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