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What portion of all federal government spending is for national defense and veterans' benefits?

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In 2021, 13% of all federal government spending was for national defense and veterans' benefits, while 73% was for social programs, 10% was for general government and debt service, 3% was for economic affairs, and 1% was for public order and safety (including immigration enforcement). Politicians, journalists, and activists often paint misleading pictures of federal spending by citing budget figures that exclude all "mandatory" programs, which are mainly social programs. Also, media outlets rarely provide a clear and accurate overview of all government spending. Thus, a 2019 scientific survey of U.S. voters found that 58% falsely believe the federal government spends more money on national defense than on social programs. Voters who believed this falsehood included 33% of Republicans and 84% of Democrats.

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