…not all spending looks the same. Spending through tax provisions—known as tax incentives or expenditures—is not as well-known as other types of federal spending, such as discretionary spending on federal programs, or spending on Social Security and other entitlement programs.

Yet tax expenditures totaled more than $1.2 trillion in fiscal year 2015—roughly what is spent on discretionary federal spending. And they didn’t have the scrutiny of other types of federal spending.

Our peers over at GAO have created a most excellent graph (see below) that clearly lays out what Tax incentives are, how much they cost, and the effect they have on the Federal budget.

taxincentives