Federal Taxes Set Record Through July

By Terence P. Jeffrey | August 11, 2021 | 3:37pm EDT
(Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)
(Photo by Stefani Reynolds-Pool/Getty Images)

(CNSNews.com) - The federal government set a new record for the amount of taxes it collected through the first ten months of fiscal 2021 (October through July), according to the Monthly Treasury Statement.

Total federal tax receipts were $3,318,078,000,000 for the period.

When federal tax receipts from previous fiscal years are adjusted for inflation into July 2021 dollars, the second-highest tax receipts for the October-through-July period came in fiscal 2017. That year, the federal government collected $3,055,690,570,000 in taxes (in constant July 2021 dollars) in October through July.

The $3,318,078,000,000 in total tax revenues the federal government collected in the October-through-July period included $1,705,743,000,000 in individual income taxes; $1,083,696,000,000 in social insurance and retirement taxes; $282,086,000,000 in corporation income taxes; $57,206,000,000 in excise taxes; $22,980,000,000 in estate and gift taxes; $64,857,000,000 in customs duties; and $101,511,000,000 in what the Monthly Treasury Statement calls “miscellaneous receipts.”

Federal spending in the first ten months of this fiscal year was the second highest it has ever been (in constant July 2021 dollars).

However, this year’s October-through-July spending of $5,858,078,000,000 was not only the second highest in the nation’s history, it was $1,892,368,690,000 higher—or 47.7 percent higher—than the then-record $3,965,709,310,000 (in constant July 2021 dollars) that the federal government spent in the first ten months of fiscal 2019, which was the last full fiscal year before the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the October-through-July period, the federal government spent $5,858,078,000,000. Before adjusting for inflation, that was more than the record $5,630,859,000,000 that the federal government spent in the same period last year. But when that spending for the first ten months of fiscal 2020 is adjusted into constant July 2021 dollars, it equals $5,932,981,350,000—which makes last year’s October-through-July federal spending the most ever in inflation-adjusted dollars.

The federal deficit of $2,540,000,000,000 for the first ten months of this fiscal year was also the second highest ever for the October-through-July period. In fiscal 2020, the federal government ran a deficit of $2,957,919,720,000 (in constant July 2021 dollars) in the first ten months of the fiscal year.

However, this year’s October-through-July deficit of $2,540,000,000,000 is 2.75-times greater the deficit of $922,326,670,000 (in constant July 2021 dollars) that the federal government ran in the first ten months of fiscal 2019, the last full fiscal year before the pandemic.

So far this fiscal year, the Treasury Department has spent $1,489,014,000,000, which is the most of any federal department. The Department of Health and Human Services ranks second with $1,252,834,000,000. The Social Security Administration ranks third in spending with $997,044,000,000 in outlays. The Department of Defense—Military Programs ranks fourth with $604,904,000,000.

When federal spending is categorized by “function” instead of by department, “income security” is the highest category of spending so far in this fiscal year. In the October-through-July period, the federal government spent $1,475,598,000,000 on this function.

The House Budget Committee describes “income security” spending as follows: “Function 600 (Income Security) consists of programs that keep Americans healthy and safe, separated into six categories: general retirement and disability insurance, federal employee retirement and disability (including military retirement); unemployment compensation; housing assistance; nutrition assistance; and other income security, which includes programs like foster care, Supplemental Security Income, and the earned income and child tax credits.”

[The historical dollar amounts cited in this story were adjusted into constant July 2021 dollars using the Bureau of Labor Statistics' inflation calculator.]

The business and economic reporting of CNSNews.com is funded in part with a gift made in memory of Dr. Keith C. Wold.

 
 

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