Trying to make sense of the Federal Budget

Wednesday, 6 April 2011 17:00 by The Lunatic

Pop quiz: What percent of our federal budget goes to the military? 

If you look at the “official” budget numbers, the White House reports that Defense spending takes up just over 19% of our budget.

Here is what our government spent in 2010, as reported by the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of the Treasury:

Budget5_thumb3

At first glance, this looks like a reasonably balanced chart, without any single slice of the pie taking up too much of the available dough (the pun was intended, although the joke was – admittedly – kind of crusty).

However, there’s been an unfortunate trend which started sometime around the Reagan era, where they try to “de-emphasize” the amount we spend on Defense by including More...