The US government expects to collect some $2.6 trillion in tax revenue this year! That's a 6% increase over last year, and a 13% jump since 2005. With the tax season behind us, did you ever wonder how your tax contributions are spent? Well, according to the government's 2008 budget, nearly 71% of this money is already slated for mandatory programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and interest toward the national debt. The military receives about 17% of the total budget, with another 1.3% funding homeland security. The remaining discretionary revenue not only funds highways, railroads, airports, etc., it also pays for federal agencies responsible for science, space exploration, medical research, education, environment, labor, law enforcement, etc. Finally, about 0.5% is spent on foreign aid.
Interest on debt
If the estimated numbers don't seem to add up, that's because the government expects to fall short of its fiscal budget by almost 8% this year, adding $200 billion or so to an almost $9 trillion national debt.