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68 Examples of Government Spending

 , July 14, 2020 updated on July 20, 2022
Government spending is expenditure by a government to provide its functions and services. This is funded with taxation, tariffs, debt and the creation of new money such that it can crush the private sector where it becomes a high percentage of GDP. However, government services can also produce value and improve economic efficiency. For example, spending on education and healthcare generally improves productivity. The following are common examples of government spending.
Administration of Public Lands
Agriculture Programs
Antitrust / Fair Competition
Arts & Performing Arts
Broadcasting & Media
City Infrastructure
City Services
Coast Guard
Coastal Infrastructure
Consumer Protection
Corrections
Courts
Debt Interest
Disaster Resilience
Employment Programs
Environmental Protection
Executive Branch
Farming Subsidies
Financial Regulation & Oversight
Financial Stability (e.g. deposit insurance)
Fire Fighters
Fishing Industry Subsidies
Food Safety
Forest Service
Global Affairs & Diplomacy
Government Services
Healthcare
Heritage & Culture
Higher Education
Housing & Community Development
Industry Regulation
Industry Subsidies
K-12 Education
Labor Regulations
Legislative Branch
Libraries
Market Regulations & Oversight
Military
Mortgages & Housing
National Security
Natural Resources
Nature & Wildlife
Nuclear Energy (e.g. nuclear waste management)
Oceans & Fisheries
Oversight Bodies (government accountability)
Parks & Recreation
Police
Postal Services
Preschools & Daycare
Public Health (e.g. regulation of medications)
Public Safety
Public Security
Research Agencies
Science Programs (e.g. geological surveys)
Social Security
Social Services
Space Agencies
Statistics & Data
Student Loans
Tax Collection
Technology Infrastructure
Training Programs
Transportation Infrastructure
Transportation Safety
Transportation Services
Veterans Benefits
Water Infrastructure
Welfare / Income Security / Basic Universal Income
In some cases, interest on public debt consumes a high percentage of government spending.
Governments can be viewed as referees that ensure that industries, markets and societies function in a way that is beneficial to the people of a nation. Where government becomes too large, it becomes a case of too many referees and not enough players. In some nations, government spending exceeds 50% of GDP such that the government consumes most resources and crowds out the private sector that is the root source of a nation's output and productivity.
Where government is too small, things that could be done to produce common good may go undone. For example, a nation with an unsafe transportation system due to a lack of competent oversight.
Governments can provide shared hard and soft infrastructure that greatly increase the economic capacity and quality of life of a nation.

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