April 17, 2012
An updated version of this infographic was published in April 2014.
The federal government spent $3.6 trillion in fiscal year 2011 (which ended on September 30, 2011). Discretionary spending, which is governed by annual appropriation acts, totaled about $1.3 trillion, or 37 percent of all federal outlays. The infographic below provides a closer look at spending on discretionary programs in 2011.