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What Was US Government Spending Like 10 Years Ago?

The USA's 2010 federal budget was incoming President Barack Obama's first, and would come at a time when Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.


As you can see, the US spent far more than it collected in revenue, with total expenditure of $3.456 trillion in contrast to $2.163 trillion in revenue. The majority of that revenue came from individual income taxes and payroll taxes on businesses. Corporate income tax, the next largest source of revenue, is ~90% smaller in value. Next in line is deposits of earnings and Federal Reserve System. This is basically money earned by the Federal Reserve through its various lines of businesses, eg. collecting interest on the securities it owns.

Next is the excise tax, which, according to the IRS, is "a tax is imposed on the sale of specific goods or services, or on certain uses." For example: fuel, airline tickets, heavy trucks and highway tractors, indoor tanning, tires, tobacco and other goods and services.

The final type of tax is the estate and gift taxes. An estate tax is a tax on the property a person wishes to pass onto to another person when they die. A gift tax is a tax that one pays when gifting something of value to another person or entity.

Spending (Expenditure)

The US's spending can be split into two categories: Mandatory and Discretionary

Mandatory spending involves stuff like pensions, healthcare, and food stamps, while discretionary involves funding the governments various departments and programs.


Public benefits, like Social Security( retirement checks) and Income Security(Food Stamps, Unemployment Compensation, Child Nutrition, Child Tax Credits, Supplemental Security for the Blind and Disabled, Student Loans, and Retirement/Disability programs for Civil Servants, the Coast Guard, and the Military. Source: The Balance) require the most amount of money in the mandatory category. Medicare, which provides healthcare coverage for the elderly and the disabled, and Medicaid, which provides coverage for families/individuals with low income, are the next two largest spenders.


Defense spending was the largest expenditure in the discretionary category, at $663 billion. Next, is the Department of Health and Human Services($78.7 billion). The HHS is responsible for overseeing various public health initiatives. One example of this is purchasing COVID vaccines. The final two departments we'll cover are the Department of Transportation and the Department of Veterans affairs. The DOT is responsible for governing all of the ways people and things are transported(air, sea, land travel). According to, "The VA is responsible for administering benefit programs for veterans, their families, and their survivors. These benefits include pension, education, disability compensation, home loans, life insurance, vocational rehabilitation, survivor support, medical care, and burial benefits."

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