This infograph by MyBankTracker.com was created using the 2009 Budget from the White House website. To calculate the specific subhead numbers, estimated projections based on The Spending Outlook found on the Congressional Budget Office website were used.
As the image shows, government spending can be broken down into three categories: mandatory spending, discretionary spending and interest.
It's in the discretionary sector that lawmakers have the most flexibility, deciding the money needed for different programs under security agency spending and non-security agency spending.
If Congress is serious about keeping the current tax cuts in place, Representatives and Senators are going to be haggling over which programs to fund at what levels.
And I suspect that when push comes to shove, some lawmakers are going to try to recharacterize some discretionary funding as, at least politically, mandatory.
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