By Chris Wilson
The budget proposal that President Barack Obama unveiled Wednesdayincludes a highly controversial measure that would curtail increases in many Social Securityand Medicare payments over time. While the document is merely a "symbolic, nonbinding spending blueprint,"as Yahoo News’ Olivier Knox wrote yesterday, it quickly exposed fracture linesamong Democrats over the future of the entitlement programs.
Ballooning entitlement payments are the most visible aspectof a pressing budgetary concern: Every year, the government has less immediatecontrol over how much money it spends. Of the $3.77 trillion in Obama’s fiscalyear 2014 budget, $2.31 trillion of it is “mandatory” spending required by law.Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid make up the bulk of that spending, butthere are all sorts of other things in there, as well: disaster relief funds,highway aid, nutritional programs and so forth. Only $1.2 trillion goes to“discretionary” spending, which consists of most agency funding. Half of thatis related to defense.
The following infographic arranges Obama’s budget in threerings. The innermost ring shows the entire budget divided by how much ismandatory versus discretionary, plus a third category for interest payments onthe national debt. As you move outward, you see those categories subdivided byagency and then by program. Mouse over a slice to see the exact value.
Because this is highly granular data that the White Houseprovides as supplementary material to its budget, thetotals in the graphic will be a bit higher than in the summary figures in mostnews reports. This is often because some agencies produce small amounts ofrevenue to offset costs, such as leasing federal land. Those negative valuesare difficult to represent in physical space on the screen.
Source: Public Budget Database (FY 2014 Budget Authority)
- Politics & Government
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- President Barack Obama