What portion of all federal government spending is for national defense and veterans' benefits?
In 2017, 18% of all federal government spending was for national defense and veterans' benefits. Other major categories of spending were for social programs (63%), general government and debt service (14%), economic affairs and infrastructure (4%), and public order and safety (1%). Politicians and activists often mislead the public about the composition of federal spending by citing figures that exclude all permanently funded "mandatory" programs. Those deceptive numbers omit the majority of federal spending and major programs like Food Stamps, Medicare, Medicaid, and Supplemental Security Income.