Federal programs that guarantee payments to individuals who meet certain criteria set by law. The Social Security Act, for example, guarantees any American age 62 or older benefits according to a formula fixed by law.
See also: Mandatory spending
National Debt Glossary
Looks up the key terms for understanding America's financial crisis
Frequently Asked Questions: National Debt
- How did the national debt get to be so big?
- What's the difference between the debt and the deficit?
- Why can't the government just print more money to get out of debt?
- How much U.S. debt is owned by foreign countries?