U.S. Treasury Data Lab
The federal government collects revenue from a variety of sources, including individual income taxes, payroll taxes, corporate income taxes, and excise taxes. The federal government funds a variety of programs and services that support the American public. The federal government also spends money on interest it has incurred on outstanding federal debt, including Treasury notes and bonds. To pay for a deficit, the federal government borrows additional funds, which increases the debt. The total debt that the federal government owes is essentially the accumulation of deficits over time, minus debt repaid by any surpluses, plus debt that the Treasury owes to other parts of the federal government such as the Social Security program. Are federal debt and deficit the same thing? No, but they do affect one another. Federal Debt.We might hope to see the finances of the Union as clear and intelligible as a merchant's books, so that every member of Congress, and every person of any mind in the Union should be able to comprehend them, to investigate abuses, and consequently to control them.