March 7, 2018
Read time : 3 min

On March 5th, Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released four budget infographics offering a detailed look at fiscal year 2017 as well as broader trends over the past few decades. The first infographic is an overall look at the federal budget and then there three other infographics go into more detail on the components that make up the federal budget: mandatory spending, discretionary spending, and revenues. 

Federal budget This infographic maps out the spending and revenues for 2017, the categories of the budget, federal deficits or surpluses over time, and federal debt held by the public over time. CBO shows that, over the last 50 years, the deficit has been 2.9% of GDP, on average. However, in 2017, the deficit was 3.5% of GDP.  Debt held by the public as a percentage of GDP is also up from the average in 2017, from 41% to 76% respectively. 

Mandatory spending This infographic offers an overview of how all mandatory spending by the federal government broke down in 2017 into the major categories it has identified as: major health care programs, social security, income security programs, federal civilian and military retirement, veterans' benefits, and other programs. 

Discretionary spending This infographic covers broad trends in discretionary spending (defense vs. nondefense) over the last 20 years and goes into more detail on the individual spending categories for 2017. 

Revenues This infographic details where government revenues come from and how much revenue was generated by each category in 2017. The categories are individual income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate income taxes, and other (includes estate taxes, excise taxes, and customs duties, among others). 

Click on the title of each infographic to view and download it from our Resources page.