FY 2019 Federal Budget: Trump’s Budget Request

Compare Congress’ Enacted Budget to Trump’s Request

Trump, Ryan,
••• Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The fiscal year 2019 federal budget outlines U.S. government revenue and spending from October 1, 2018, through September 30, 2019. The Office of Management and Budget reported that revenue was $3.464 trillion. That's less than the spending of $4.448 trillion. It created a $984 billion budget deficit.

This year was unusual because, in February 2018, Congress enacted a bill to guide spending for FY 2019 as well as FY 2018.

Revenue

Almost half of the FY 2019 revenue of $3.464 trillion came from income taxes. They contributed $1.718 trillion. Payroll taxes were $1.243 trillion and included Social Security and Medicare taxes. Corporate taxes added $230 billion, contributing just 7% to the total revenue. The corporate contribution was brought down from 9% in FY 2016 by Trump's tax plan.

The remaining $273 billion was from excise taxes, estate taxes, interest on Federal Reserve deposits, and other miscellaneous sources. It's also lower than in FY 2016. The tax plan cut estate taxes. Also, the Federal Reserve was reducing its holdings of U.S. Treasurys acquired through quantitative easing.

Tax Freedom Day occurred in mid-April. That's how long taxpayers work to pay for federal, state, and local government revenue collection. It's more than they spend on food, clothing, and housing combined.

Spending

The budget office estimated the federal government would spend $4.448 trillion in FY 2019. Government spending has three components: discretionary, mandatory, and interest on the debt.

Discretionary: Congress appropriates funds each year for agencies covered by the discretionary budget. It typically uses the president’s request as a guideline. But on February 9, 2018, Congress did something a little different. It approved a two-year discretionary spending bill for both Fiscal Years 2018-2019. The bill outlined spending targets for the base budget that covered standard department operations. The appropriations committees allocated funding based on that spending bill.

The Trump administration released its budget request for FY 2019 on February 12, 2018. It is shown below next to the estimated spending based on the Congressional allocations. This is slightly different than what was actually spent.

Mandatory: The budget office estimated mandatory benefits would cost $2.735 trillion. The mandatory budget is an estimate, not an appropriation. Congress can't change it as part of the normal budget process. Congress mandated the benefit payments when it passed the laws that created the programs.

  • Social Security: $1.038 billion. Payroll taxes fund 100% of the cost.
  • Medicare: $644 billion. Payroll taxes and premiums fund 57% of the cost.
  • Medicaid: $409 billion. Paid out of the general fund.
  • All Other: $644 billion. This includes food stamps and Supplemental Security Income. Most are paid out of the general fund. Payroll taxes partially fund Unemployment Compensation. The Affordable Care Act and the Troubled Asset Relief Program are self-funded.

Interest on the Debt: Interest payments on the national debt are not officially part of the mandatory budget, but the payments must be made. It was $375 billion in FY 2019.

Deficit

The FY 2019 deficit was $984 trillion. At that time, it was the largest deficit since FY 2012.

Compare to Past Budgets

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Article Sources

  1. The White House. “A Budget for America's Future, Fiscal Year 2021,” Table S-4. Accessed June 29, 2020.

  2. The White House. "Mid-Session Review Budget of the U.S. Government," Table S-2." Accessed June 29, 2020.