suburbia
Shutterstock

You’re probably aware that the federal government spends money on some things you like (national parks), and some things you may not care for (imprisoning non-violent drug offenders). But you probably don’t know that the feds actually spend more money on real estate than practically anything else other than defense.

How so? As a new report illustrates, a variety of federal policies that go by other names are actually public investments in housing and other development. The report, “Federal involvement in real estate: A call for examination,” by the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Smart Growth America, adds it all up and finds approximately $450 billion each year in subsidies.