Our Government’s Budget

Each year the government must decide how it will spend its money by October 1st.

Have you ever heard a grownup talk about a “household budget?” This is when people decide how much money they can spend on things like food and clothing. Our country has a budget too.

The government pays for things like the army, roads, and doctors for the elderly. The United States budget is huge. In 2017, the United spent almost 4 trillion dollars. If you stacked 4 trillion dollar bills on top of each other, they would reach the Moon.

The government gets the money it spends from the taxes people pay. This means many people have opinions about how the government should spend money. The government goes through a long process to set its budget.

In February, the president gives a budget request to Congress. In the budget request, the president shows how he would like to spend our country’s money. Congress then looks at the plan. They talk about it. They make changes to it. They give it back to the president to approve.

The president and Congress should agree on a budget by October 1st. If they do not, they may have to make special plans to keep the government from shutting down until they can agree.

What About You?  What do you think the government should spend money on?

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