Where the $7.7 trillion in federal spending goes

According to the federal government’s website USASPENDING.gov, as of June 30, 2021, the federal government is spending $7.7 trillion, yet the government only brings in about $3.42 trillion per year. Last year, the federal government spent $3.13 trillion more than it took in, creating a deficit. A deficit occurs when money going out exceeds the money coming in and the federal government needs to borrow in order to compensate for that deficit. In 2020, the federal government spent more than it collected. By the end of 2020, the federal debt was $26.95 trillion and now is $28.7 trillion. So where does all this money go?


The largest two expenditures have gone out to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Treasury. Almost 25 percent of HHS’s spending has gone to Medicaid via grants to the states while 18.4% of the department’s spending has gone toward payments to health care trust funds. Other large spending by HHS went to help supplement American’s insurance premiums and to the federal hospital insurance trust fund. The U.S. Treasury has been spending a lot of money on COVID-19 response, which has accounted for around 44% ($559.7 billion) of its spending. Interest on the federal debt owed by taxpayers accounts for 24.3% ($419.2 billion) of its spending.

U.S. Treasury Spending

The Social Security Administration (SSA) is accounting for just over 12.1% of federal spending ($933.5 billion). Most of SSA’s spending went to regular social security payments to the tune of $743.7 billion, about 80% of the spending for the agency. About 11.5% of the agency’s budget went to disability payments ($107.6 billion) and $48 billion went to the supplemental security income program (SSI).

The Department of Defense’s spending accounts for 11.4% of federal spending, which is $880.9 billion. Almost $100 billion of the department’s spending goes toward military pensions and 92.6% has gone to working capital which includes contractual supplies and services, personnel compensation and benefits. About 8% of the military’s “working capital” spending is “unknown.”

Department of Defense spending

Other spending by the federal government goes to these agencies:

Dept of Labor$562,676,803,7647.3%
Small Business Administration$332,170,135,1014.31%
Department of Education$278,071,341,4123.61%
Department of Agriculture$235,729,594,7803.06%
Department of Veterans Affairs$188,223,475,785

Office of Personnel Affairs$164,254,458,014

Department of Transportation$106,812,579,740

Department of Homeland Security$99,924,715,851

There are more agencies; however, these are the largest

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