Mandatory Spending Grows Over Time

Budget News

The House Budget Committee has launched an initiative focused on normalizing the conversation and building the case for reforming America’s health, retirement, and economic security programs – Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other mandatory spending programs. The initiative is called “Restoring the Trust for All Generations” and, as part of the launch, the Committee released a policy paper outlining “Principles for Saving and Strengthening America’s Health, Retirement, and Economic Security Programs.” More information is available at

mandatory spending chart

Budget Factoid

Did you know that most federal spending does not require an annual vote by Congress? This type of mandatory spending – otherwise known as autopilot spending – has grown from 1/3 of all spending 50 years ago to 2/3 today and is on pace to consume an ever larger share of the budget. Mandatory spending on entitlement programs such as Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and now ACA Exchange Subsidies is the main driver of this trend.