Notes and Sources

Our nation’s budget is composed of federal funds and trust funds. Trust funds, generated from sources such as payroll taxes, can only be used for specific programs such as Social Security and Medicare. All other funds are federal funds, including revenue from federal income taxes.

The materials of Tax Day 2012 are based on the functions and subfunctions within the federal funds portion of outlays in fiscal year 2011, as included in the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2013, in the Public Budget Database.

The breakdown of federal funds is based on outlays (as opposed to budget authority) for fiscal year 2011, since this most closely corresponds to your tax filing in 2011 for income earned in calendar year 2011.

National Priorities Project calculates the distribution of federal fund outlays as follows: Starting with total outlays for fiscal 2011, trust fund accounts were removed. The remaining accounts represent all outlays from federal funds. NPP sorts Federal Fund outlays first by subfunction and then by NPP category (for example “Science” and “Military” are categories designated by NPP, not by the federal government, but they include official subfunctions, as listed below). Total federal fund outlays were $2.99 trillion in 2011. That figure does not include repayments of TARP loans, which totaled $64 billion. If that $64 billion repayment were included, it would make total federal fund outlays appear smaller than they were.

We have defined the categories in the bar chart, tax calculator, and tax receipt as follows:

Military: $806 billion. National defense and security, nuclear weapons activities, and international security assistance. This includes subfunctions 051, 053, 054, 152.

Medicare & Health: $639 billion. Medicare, Medicaid, SCHIP and other health-related expenses. This includes subfunctions 551, 552, 554, 571, 921.

Interest on Debt: $434 billion. This includes subfunctions 901, 902, 908, 909.

Social Security, Unemployment & Labor: $363 billion. Job training, disability, retirement, unemployment insurance, and Social Security. This includes subfunctions 504, 505, 601, 602, 603, 609, 651, 923.

Government: $135 billion. Commerce, law enforcement, overhead costs of federal government and undistributed offsetting receipts. Excludes TARP repayment. This includes subfunctions 372, 373, 376, 751, 752, 753, 754, 801, 802, 803, 804, 805, 806, 808, 809, 922, 951, 953, 954, 959.

Veterans' Benefits: $130 billion. Health care, housing and income benefits for veterans. This includes subfunctions 701, 702, 703, 704, 705.

Food & Agriculture: $127 billion. Agriculture and nutritional assistance. This includes subfunctions 351, 352, 605.

Housing & Community: $116 billion. Housing assistance and credit, community development and services supporting social needs. This includes subfunctions 371, 451, 452, 453, 506, 604, 925.

Education: $74 billion. Elementary, secondary, higher and vocational education. This includes subfunctions 501, 502, 503.

Energy & Environment: $58 billion. Natural resources and environment, supply and use of energy and science and research activities. This includes subfunctions 251, 252, 271, 272, 274, 276, 301, 302, 303, 304, 306.

Transportation: $39 billion. Development and support of air, water, ground and other transportation. This includes subfunctions 401, 402, 403, 407.

International Affairs: $36 billion. Diplomatic, development and humanitarian activities abroad. This includes subfunctions 151, 153, 154, 155.

Science: $31 billion. Science and research activities. This includes subfunctions 251, 252.

Taxes and Your Paycheck

Marginal tax rates from Internal Revenue Service, 2011 Tax Rate Schedules.

“More than half of all taxpayers pay more in payroll taxes than they do in income taxes” refers to
Congressional Budget Office report “Percent of Households Paying More in Payroll Taxes Than Income Taxes (2007)


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