Reaching a total of $2.16 trillion, table below summarizes the most recently projected U.S. non-discretionary spending on mandatory programs and the amount of annual expenditure of each program FY 2011.
Others: Food Stamps, Unemployment Compensation, Child Nutrition, Tax Credits, Income Support Program, Crop Insurance or agricultural subsidies, Supplemental Security for the Disabled, and Student Loans.
The most significant discretionary spending of the U.S. government is allocated for defense budget. Estimated by Donald M. Snow – a professor at the University of Alabama, approximately 58 percent of the total discretionary funding or 15 percent of the annual federal budget is spent on defense (Kennedy, 2010).
Unlike the mandatory or non-discretionary expenditures, discretionary budget that is being allocated for Congress is controllable. It means that the Congress can decide whether or not to spend a portion of discretionary budget on certain projects. It is unfortunate to learn that two-thirds or almost 67% of the total federal budget has to be allocated for non-discretionary or mandatory expenditure (Kennedy, 2010).
According to Kennedy (2010), the Veteran’s Health Administration is already serving the pension and health care needs of more than 8 million veterans. Given the amount of non-discretionary expenditure (2/3 of federal fund) with the amount of discretionary expenditure (1/3 of federal fund), it is clear that the U.S. government should strictly avoid getting involve in the war between Iraq and Afghanistan to control the increasing number of Veterans that is entitled to receive not only pension but also health care support. By doing so, the large number of veterans that is currently being financially supported by the U.S. government through entitlements can be controlled. Likewise, the U.S. government can also be free from having to spend a significant portion of the federal fund on defense budget.
On top of the $5.5 billion