A publicly available listing of US government expenditures is available for download at https://catalog.data.gov/dataset/public-budget-database-outlays-and-offsetting-receipts-1962-current. However, this lists all expenditures regardless of income source. Some subfunctions are funded in part or whole by special taxes (such as the social security tax taken out of your paycheck separate from federal taxes), while the majority come straight from income taxes.

Is there an official source that denotes which subfunction codes are paid for by these special trusts instead of federal income taxes, or is it up to citizens to research each individual line item?


1 Answer 1


The reality is that all revenue goes into a general fund. All expenditures come from the general fund. Even Social Security is paid out of the general fund.

There are various trust funds but they are all accounting gimmicks with no relation to reality.

  • That's certainly true, but I was hoping to a breakdown of the official story for where the money is going. So is there an authoritative source for these 'accounting gimmicks'?
    – Nicholas
    Feb 21, 2016 at 15:24

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