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Each year, some of the revenue the federal government collects comes from various taxes. In 2012, taxpayers paid almost $2.5 trillion, which the government used to partially fund $3.5 trillion worth of spending on Social Security, health care, and other programs in areas such as defense and education. The remainder of spending was funded through deficits.
The United States healthcare system is the most expensive in the world, and our healthcare costs are projected to keep rising. Despite these high costs, our health outcomes are generally no better than those of our peers, and in some cases are worse.
The budget of the U.S. Government is developed according to principles and statutory requirements defined by the Constitution and subsequent laws, including the Budget and Accounting Act of 1921, which established the executive budget process, and the Congressional Budget and Impoundment Control Act of 1974, which defined the congressional budget process. Further federal budgeting laws followed to help the Congress and the President manage the budget process and enforce budget decisions.
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Making changes to defense, health care and Social Security will help us reduce our debt, and also leave money to fund other critical responsibilities and invest in our future. But even though other spending programs (including agriculture, transportation, homeland security, education, unemployment benefits, national parks, international relations, and the operations of government) are occupying smaller and smaller portions of the federal budget, there are still opportunities to save money.
Federal spending is divided into two large categories – mandatory spending and discretionary spending
What's the result of Washington's cycle of governing by crisis? Fiscal policy uncertainty has cost us 900,000 lost jobs since late 2009. That's one of the findings in a new report, "The Cost of Crisis-Driven Fiscal Policy," prepared by research firm Macroeconomic Advisers for the Peterson Foundation.