A Primer on Federal Government Operation - Follow the Money (Revenues and Services)

(posted 4/16/2016) - Every once in a while I try to refamiliarize myself with the scope of our Federal government operation (not its politics). A good way to understand what our federation does for us is to follow the money. I recommend this report from NationalPriorities.org which gives a concise description of the dollars we piped into our Federal government thru taxes in 2015; and the categories and costs of the services provided.

I've extracted as images some of the pie-charts for posterity - as web links can sometimes disappear and I like to be able to come back and peruse things across the years ...

Enjoy and be enlightened! This single graphic shows 2015 revenues from taxation and the entire Federal Expenses Budget (where the money goes for the year). If you want to expand it click on the image to read some of the finer print.

Just for clarification: Mandatory budget spending is spending enacted as law (think social security payouts); while discretionary spending represents annual budgeting for operations and spending that if not renewed will disappear from the next budget period.

The pie-chart below shows the three legs of spending - Interest Payment on Debt, Mandatory Spending, and Discretionary Spending for the budget year 2015.

Here's the pie-chart for discretionary spending items.

Here's the pie-chart for mandatory spending items.

Finally, here's a pie-chart for total spending by area in 2015 (A federal agency often has both Mandatory and Discretionary budget components).