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Federal Spending – Fast Facts

All fast facts for Federal Spending are from the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (NCFRR), and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO). They do not represent all of their reports on this subject. Some simply provide historical context. Occasionally minor word adjustments may have been made for clarity or to reflect the updated nature of the statement. As always, verify and view statements in their full context as often as possible.

Options for responding to a fiscal crisis would be limited and unattractive. The government would need to undertake some combination of three actions.  Click here to verify at the bottom of the Page
One action could be changing the terms of its existing debt. This would make it difficult and costly to borrow in the future.   Click here to verify at the bottom of the Page
A second action could be adopting an inflationary monetary policy by increasing the supply of money. However, this approach would have negative consequences for both the economy and future budget deficits.  Click here to verify at bottom of the Page
A third action could be implementing an austerity program of spending cuts and tax increases.  Such budgetary adjustments, in the face of a fiscal crisis, would be more drastic and painful than those that would have been necessary had the adjustments come sooner.  Click here to verify at the bottom of Page
The federal government spent $3.6 trillion in fiscal year 2011 (which ended on September 30, 2011). Mandatory spending totaled about $2.0 trillion, or 56 percent of all federal outlays. That category includes spending for entitlement programs and certain other payments to people, businesses, nonprofit institutions, and state and local governments (primarily benefit programs for which lawmakers set eligibility rules and benefit formulas).  Click here to verify
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Voting Key


Fact = 100% - 92% True
Mostly Fact = 91% - 75% True
Slightly Fact = 74% - 60% True
Split = 59% - 50% True
Slightly Fiction = 49% - 30% True
Mostly Fiction = 29% - 10% True
Fiction = 9% - 0% True