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Wall Street to Your Street

Understanding the budget debate part 5: tax expenditures

Millions of Americans and U.S. companies benefit from special exclusions, exemptions, deductions, special credits, preferential tax rates, and tax liability deferrals that help reduce income taxes. These are known as "tax expenditures," and, while they benefit individuals and corporations, they cost the federal government billions of dollars in tax revenue.

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Understanding the budget debate part 4: federal spending

The federal government collects trillions of dollars in taxes each year, and, in recent years, it has been spending even more. That budget imbalance has added up to a national debt of about $19 trillion dollars. In the first three articles we explained where the revenue comes from – taxes on individuals, corporations and other entities – and this article will lay out where all of that revenue goes.

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Understanding the budget debate part 3: business taxes

Corporate income taxes account for only about 9% of the tax revenues collected by the federal government. That may seem like a small number since corporations are generally viewed as behemoths that make lots of money. Some are, of course. But there just aren't enough of them to account for a bigger share of federal tax receipts.

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Understanding the budget debate part 2: individual taxes

Congressional policymakers who hope to keep the federal debt in check have just two options: spend less money or collect more money in the form of taxes. Neither is easy, which is why the debt has continued to climb.

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