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The Bruce Murray Space Image Library

Growth of Mandatory Spending in United States Budget

Filed under FY2014 NASA Budget, Explaining Policy

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Growth of Mandatory Spending in United States Budget As mandatory spending in the U.S. has grown, it has take over a larger percentage of the federal budget, putting pressure on discretionary spending, which funds all scientific research programs.


As the growth of spending mandated by law has grown in the United States, it has put pressure on "discretionary" spending, which Congress authorizes on a yearly basis.

Discretionary spending has shrunk as a total of the federal budget over the years, as shown in this animation, even as total amounts have grown. This squeezes vital discretionary spending programs, such as space exploration and scientific research.

Charts and data are from the American Association for the Advancement of Science. They have an excellent section devoted to anaylsis of science and research funding the United States.

Original image data dated on or about June 19, 2013.

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. For uses not allowed by that license, contact us to request publication permission from the copyright holder


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