The categories of spending used in this simulation generally match the categories used in the official budget of the United States under its "Functions and Sub-functions" perspective on the budget, Table 27–1. Budget Authority and Outlays by Function, Category and Program.

Most of these categories match the way most people discuss the budget, even when some of the specific programs may be unknown.

This simulation makes a few changes, breaking out a number of additional major categories. It divides the "Education, training, employment, and social services" category into an "Education", "Training, Labor and Unemployment" and a "General Family Support" category.

Instead of the encompassing "Income Security" category, which is a grabbag of retirement programs, welfare programs, and work-related spending like unemployment compensation, this simulation:

  • Merges miltary retirement and military health programs into the veterans retirement and disability category.
  • Merges unemployment into the "Training, Labor and Unemployment" category.
  • Merges Adoption and Child Support functions into the "General Family Support" category.
  • Creates a new "Aid to Low-income Families" category.

    There is also an additional category for the "Iraq and Afghanistan Operations"

    Sub-functions in the "long" version of the game generally remain the same although some small programs have been grouped together in new categories.