NPR’s Planet Money blog posted this image showing changes in major categories of federal spending over the past 50 years. Notably, though defense spending (which includes veteran benefits) is still the largest category of federal spending, it’s a much smaller proportion of the total budget than it was in the ’60s; spending on interest on our debt has also fallen quite a bit since the ’80s. On the other hand, spending on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid (which didn’t even exist in 1962), and safety net programs (including food stamps and unemployment) have grown. The somewhat reduced “everything else” category includes everything from education to space exploration to agriculture and more:

Via The Sociological Cinema; data available at the Office of Management and Budget.

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