The United States’ debt stands at $31.4 trillion, this staggering amount has put the federal government in a difficult position by surpassing its borrowing limit. However, the recent agreement reached between the US Congress and the White House to raise the debt ceiling has prevented the government from defaulting on its payments. Defaulting would have severe consequences for the nation’s economy, global financial stability, and the lives of many Americans.
The government’s debt is a result of spending more than it collects in revenue, leading to an annual deficit. This accumulated debt has been a persistent issue. Over the past fifty years, the government has achieved a surplus only five times, with the last surplus occurring in the 2001 fiscal year, according to the Treasury Department.
In the fiscal year 2022, the federal government collected $4.9 trillion in revenue, which was approximately $1.38 trillion less than its expenditures, according to the Treasury Department. This budget shortfall contributes to the overall national debt.
The majority of revenue, by far, comes from individual income taxes, accounting for more than half of the total funds collected in the previous fiscal year. The next largest sources of revenue are social security payroll taxes at 12.4% and Medicare taxes at 2.9%, with these fees being divided between employers and employees.
However, the government also generates revenue through various other means, including fees for access to national parks, customs duties on imports and exports, and taxes on goods such as alcohol, tobacco, and gasoline.
Above is an infographic providing an overview of the US government’s revenue sources for the year 2022, categorized by their respective sources.