Federal spending sand chart
NOTE: An updated 2011 version of this visualization is available at:
Not a bright idea per se, but a handy data visualization to share:
This is a sand chart of Federal budget outlays, normalized to FY09 dollars, going back to 1962. You can drag the stack bars at top to get different top-level views, as well as drill down using the menu at left. Note also the “percentage” button at lower right, which allows for viewing in a ‘percent of portfolio’ stack; looking at each major category at left while in this mode helps show how our national spending priorities have evolved over time.
I’ll update it with current and forward-looking estimates once the full FY10 President’s Budget Request comes out in April, and probably backfill some key categories back to the 40’s as well.
Some interesting slices:
- Drill down Human Resources -> Health -> Health Research to see the “NIH Doubling” (now a tripling). The parent Health category is also eye-opening.
- National Defense -> National Defense -> Department of Defense breaks out the 20-year defense cyclicals, with swings of ~$150B-$200B.
- Other Functions -> Administration of Justice is also fairly amazing (remember, these are already corrected for inflation).
- Digging around will also reveal some key national crises, like the 70’s energy crisis, the savings and loan crisis, and Katrina.