The expenditures of the Federal government are primarily devoted to income maintenance (such as Social Security and Welfare), also known as transfer payments. The second category is national defense. The largest portion of expenditures of State and municipal governments goes to education and health.
All payments made by any form of government is what government expenditure means. Some of these payments are for the purchases of items such as pens or tanks. Some are for the performance of services such as those of a policeman. A large proportion of government expenditure consists of payments to retired persons or persons in need of assistance.