TABLE 1-1 The 11 Largest Federal Programs, Fiscal Years 1999 and 2000

 

Obligations ($billions)

Rank

Program

FY 1999

FY 2000

FY 1999

FY 2000

Medical Assistance Program (Medicaid)

111.1

121.8

1

1

Highway Planning and Construction

26.2

25.9

2

2

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families

18.8

19.1

3

3

Title I Education

7.7

7.9

4

4

National School Lunch Program (food grant portion)

5.5

5.6

5

5

Special Education Grants to States

4.3

5.0

6

6

State Children’s Health Insurance

4.2

4.3

7

8

Foster Care Title IV-E

4.0

4.5

8

7

Community Development Block Grants

3.0

3.0

9

10

WIC (food grant portion)

2.9

2.8

10

11

Public Housing Capital Fund

2.2

3.9

14

9

Total for 11 largest programs

187.7

201.0

 

Total for all formula allocation programs

245.9

262.3

 

Source: Catalog of Federal Domestic Assistance <http://www.cfda.gov>

continuing nature not confined to a specific project. For some programs, the distribution formula used is a closed mathematical expression; for others, iterative processes are used to arrive at the final allocations. Block grant programs are a subset of formula allocation programs in which the recipient jurisdiction has broad discretion for the application of funds received in support of such programs as community development or the prevention and treatment of substance abuse, which are specified in the authorizing legislation. Matching grant programs, such as Medicaid and certain transportation programs, require that the recipient state provide a matching percentage of funds from state sources.

Allocation formulas are usually designed with one or more objectives: to distribute funds to recipient governments in proportion to some measure of program need, to equalize their fiscal capacities to meet program needs, or to influence their spending decisions. They are developed in the context of a complex political process. Use of a formula (rather than a specification



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