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Deficit: Why Should I Care? by Marie Bussing-Burks

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Reform Entitlement Programs

Mandatory spending (displayed in Figure 7-1) accounts for over half of federal outlays. The largest programs in this group are Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. These three entitlement programs together accounted for 74 percent of mandatory spending in fiscal year 2010. As part of the budget, these entitlement programs are growing faster than any other line item, and are projected to account for an incredible 81 percent of mandatory spending by 2021, based upon current law.

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Figure 7-1. Breakdown of mandatory spending in 2010. Source: Congressional Budget Office, “Reducing the Deficit: Spending and Revenue Options,” ...

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