President Obama proposed a 2016 federal budget this week.
Does it stand any chance of becoming law?
Haha, no. Of course not.
But whenever these budgets come out, there are dozens of articles arguing the pros and cons of specific details, but none I can ever find that just lay out the numbers and answer the question: How, exactly, is our money going to be spent?
Using data from the Office of Management and Budget, I put these tables together to answer that question.
Here's the 2016 budget proposal laid out by major category:
Those are huge numbers! But we're a massive economy, too. The budget proposal calls for spending equal to 21.3% of GDP. That compares with an average of 20.9% from 1980 to 2015, or 19.3% from 1947 to 2015.
And here's spending as a percent of GDP out by category:
Entitlements -- Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid -- are higher than their long-term average mostly due to retiring baby boomers. These categories also fall under "mandatory" spending, which means Congress doesn't decide how much is spent each year. Spending is based on benefit calculations passed by previous legislatures. (Those laws can be changed at any time, but without a change they're not part of the annual budgeting process.) The rest of spending is pretty much in line with, or below, historic averages.
The budget calls for tax receipts to equal 18.7% of GDP, compared with an average of 17.2% from 1947 to 2015:
And broken out by where tax revenue comes from, here's what the proposal looks like:
What do you think?
Contact Morgan Housel at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.