So I looked into why the “Net Interest” Category of federal spending skyrockets when including only on-budget items. There are only two accounts that are marked as being “off-budget” and both bring in money to the federal government. They are “FOASI, Interest Received by Trust Funds” and “FDI, Interest Received by Trust Funds”. Together, they are more commonly known as the Social Security Trust Fund.

By counting the interest made on these trust funds the government is actually hiding how much money it spends by about 117 billion in 2009. This money is meant to be used to avoid the coming Social Security crisis, but instead it is being spent and included in budget totals that is hiding the size of the budget deficit, and how much money the United States spends on interest of past debt(almost 10% of the entire 2009 on-budget outlays).

I would not have discovered that past debt eats so much of our budget if I hadn’t looked at the on-budget only graph as well as the graph that included everything. I will be sure to continue this practice in the future.