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U.S. Income, Expenditures and The Debt Ceiling

Posted on May 10, 2023, by Mary Ann McGivern SL

U.S. Income 2022:

The income of the United States is basically what is brought in through taxes and fees on individuals and corporations plus FICA (Federal Income Contributions Act). We pay taxes and Congress decides how to spend them. We pay FICA on income up to $147,000 and it allegedly goes into a lock box to be used for our retirement and disability. Actually, we have borrowed it to operate the government.

Federal revenue in 2022 came to $4.90 trillion in taxes, FICA and various fees. In 2022 the federal government spent $6.27 trillion.

U.S. Expenditures Planned for 2023

  • Trust Fund expenditures for Social Security, Medicare and highways – $700 billion
  • Congressional discretionary spending of $1.7 trillion
    • Military: $858 billion (not including the Veterans’ Administration and the Department of Energy nuclear weapons program). 
    • Non-military: $800 billion including education, agriculture, housing, health and human services, energy and the VA. 
  • Interest on the federal debt: $500 billion

The Debt Ceiling ($31.281 trillion):

If you are following the numbers, we may spend less than we take in this year. But because of COVID-19 and tax cuts, we’ve been spending trillions more than we have taken in over the past three years. We’ve borrowed as much as the law, the federal debt ceiling, allows.

If we don’t raise the debt ceiling, we won’t be able to pay the interest on our debt. Or we could raise taxes or cut spending. Currently, some members of Congress want to cut Medicaid, SNAP and other aid to the poor as well as the new operations money for the IRS and the new climate change initiatives. 


There are many proposed solutions to reducing the debt ceiling. The devil is in the details. Do we continue coronavirus vaccine research? Do we build a new generation of nuclear weapons? Can we afford to give more money to the local police and to mental health facilities? Myself, I’d say cut military spending. What federal spending actions are most important to you? 


Mary Ann McGivern SL

Mary Ann recently moved from St. Louis to the Loretto Motherhouse in Kentucky. She is searching for entry points into Marian County, Ky., civic life — funding the day care center, improving jail services, helping stop a pipeline through Bernheim Forest. She is on the roster of homilists at Loretto Chapel’s Sunday Communion service. Mary Ann has been a Sister of Loretto since 1960.
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