Answer to Question #89092 in Finance for Jessie

Question #89092
How do the different levels of government use tax dollars to provide services for Americans
Expert's answer

The main part of federal budget is spent on five major items:

  • National defense and security,
  • Social Security,
  • Medicare, Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP),
  • Safety net programs,
  • Interest on the national debt.

The federal government spends its money in four major ways: direct payments, grants, contracts and insurance.

The ways of spending of state budget differ in different states; each state is free to choose where to spend tax revenue.

The most common ways are:

  • education (public K-12 education), 
  • health care (Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program or CHIP), 
  • transportation (funding for public transit systems, such as light rail, and infrastructure spending, including building and repairing roads and bridges), 
  • corrections (state prison costs, juvenile justice programs and parole programs),
  • low income assistance (Temporary Assistance to Needy Families program).

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