Providing for the defense of the United States is Congress’ constitutional obligation. Lawmakers should recognize defense is a necessity, if not the federal government’s most important responsibility.

In recent years, however, defense spending has continued to decline as entitlement spending increased. Priorities are being misplaced as the gap between entitlement spending and defense spending continues to widen.

This chart is part of Heritage’s 2011 Budget Chart Book, featuring infographics on federal spending, revenue, debt and deficits, and entitlement programs.