Who Pays Income Taxes

Jan 03, 2023 By Triston Martin

It is a legal requirement to hand up a certain income of one's earnings to the government. According to the laws governing taxes in the United States, each person or tax with earned income must give over a certain percentage of that income to the federal government. The deficit is the amount of money borrowed to meet any shortfalls between the government's expenditures and the income it receives from taxes. How are my federal taxes spent?

The Country's Budget

The purpose of the tax system is to guarantee that everyone pays an appropriate amount to the government's operation and the economy of the country as a whole. Your contributions to the federal government are put to use by the government in the form of taxes throughout the nation and the provision of products and services that are in the best interest of the American people. The following are the top three most common types of expenditures:

  • Major health programs
  • Social security
  • Defense and security

Other areas of spending, such as those for transportation and infrastructure, help fill out the government budget. For example, the interest in the national debt and different safety net programs, such as low-income assistance, make up a significant portion of national expenditures.

Defense and Security

Although the numbers are subject to yearly fluctuation along with the rest of the budget, defense and security spending normally accounts for a significant fraction of what the government spends each year.

Spending on national defense and security is regarded to be part of the discretionary budget for the United States government. Expenditures from the Department of Defense and the Homeland Security Agency are included in this area of spending. Spending on the military came to nearly 768 billion dollars for the federal budget for 2022, equivalent to roughly 13 percent of the total budget.

Social Security

In 2022, payments related to the Social Security system accounted for around 21 percent of the total budget of the United States, with total expenditures of approximately $1.2 trillion. As a component of the government budget considered obligatory, the Social Security program is responsible for disbursing payments to disabled individuals in addition to retirement and survivors' benefits.

Major Health Programs

Medicare, Medicaid, and the Children's Health Insurance Program are the three most important health programs funded by the federal government's budget. Because Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program each need matching payments from individual states, Medicare receives around two-thirds of the total budget for federal health programs. These health programs are expected to receive around 25 percent of total government spending for the fiscal year 2022 budget.

Safety Net Programs

The programs that make up the social safety net generally account for roughly 11 percent of the total government budget. This section will discuss assistance programs for low- and middle-income families that are not covered by Social Security or the main health programs. Examples include:

  • Unemployment insurance
  • Low-income housing assistance
  • Food stamps
  • Programs for abused and neglected children

Interest in the National Debt

According to the proposed budget for the federal government for the year 2022, interest payments on the national debt amount to around $399 billion, representing approximately 7 percent of total expenditures.

Other Expenditures

Other types of expenditure account for around 23 percent of the total budget for the federal government. Spending on benefits for federal retirees and veterans accounts for around 7 percent of the total budget and is the sub-category that takes up the most money. Expenditure on scientific and medical research, transportation and infrastructure, education, non-security-related overseas spending, and any other areas are included in the remaining costs.

Bottom Line

Historically, mandatory spending has always accounted for more than sixty percent of the total amount the government spends. The President of the United States is responsible for presenting an annual budget to Congress that outlines plans for obligatory and discretionary expenditures across the board.

Although the submission of the president's proposed budget for the federal government begins the process of reaching an agreement on a budget for the federal government, this budget must still be voted on and approved by Congress, which results in many changes throughout several iterations.

Since the government's fiscal year begins on October 1 and ends on September 30, the final signing of the yearly budget must be completed by September 30 to keep the operations of the government running smoothly. If Congress and the president are unable to reach an agreement on a final budget, the federal government will either be forced to shut down, or its spending will be dependent on interim solutions.

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