Can we even call it a 'Slimdown?'

One surprising aspect of the partial federal government so-called “shutdown” is what a small portion of the budget is actually affected, in turn bringing attention to just how little impact Congress can have on spending through the normal budget process.

Some $2.5 trillion of federal outlays — more than 66 percent of all spending — is categorized as so-called “mandatory” spending. This is money that is automatically spent without any vote in Congress.

For the current fiscal year, according to the Office of Management and Budget, this includes Medicaid ($303.6 billion), the Refundable Premium Assistance Tax Credit ($32.2 billion), payments to reduce cost sharing in qualified health plans ($3.9 billion), Children’s Health Insurance ($9.9 billion), other health programs ($35.1 billion) Medicare ($523.8 billion), general retirement and disability ($6.9 billion), Federal employee retirement and disability ($140.7 billion), unemployment compensation ($56.2 billion), food and nutrition assistance ($98 billion), Supplemental Security Income ($53.1 billion), family and other support assistance ($25.1 billion), Earned Income Tax Credit ($55.6 billion), Child Tax Credit ($25.1 billion), payments to states for foster care/adoption assistance ($6.9 billion), housing assistance and other ($7.3 billion), Social Security ($860.3 billion), veterans benefits and services ($85.8 billion), and gross interest owed on the debt ($417.9 billion).
 Source: Human Events
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