authority—the amount of money a federal department or agency can spend or
obligate to spend by law—for veterans’ benefits and services has increased
significantly since FY1940. In FY1940, the budget authority for veterans’
benefits and services was $561.1 million, and in FY2012 the budget
authority was $125.3 billion, or more than 200 times the FY1940 budget authority.
In constant 2011 dollars (i.e., inflation-adjusted), the FY2012 budget
authority is 14 times the FY1940 budget authority. The increases
over time have reflected the impact of increases in the number of veterans
as the result of wars and other conflicts, the aging of the veteran
population, and changes in benefits and services provided for veterans. This
report provides information on the historical budget authority of the
Department of Veterans Affairs (formerly the Veterans Administration) for
FY1940 through FY2012. Budget authority is presented in both current
dollars and constant 2011 dollars.
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