The federal budget is an itemization of the various expenses the U.S. government must pay to keep the country running on an annual basis. The budget begins on Oct. 1 and ends on Sept. 30 of the following year. Government expenditures that the budget must cover include employee salaries, military, infrastructure maintenance, subsidies, and more.
Government spending is divided into two categories: Mandatory and discretionary. Mandatory spending is designated by law and includes entitlement programs such as Medicare and social security, which consume 37% of the federal budget. Estimates for the budget are created by the Office of Management and Budget. Discretionary spending requires the approval of individuals appropriation bills.