Can the U.S. Government Ever Run Out of Money?



If you’ve been in a store lately, chances are you’ve seen a sign asking you to pay with exact change due to the coin shortage as a result of the pandemic. That may have got you wondering if the government can ever run out of money. The simple answer is no. In some ways, the government is like an ordinary family. It has a bank account, and that account increases with each deposit and decreases with each withdrawal. For the government, deposits come from tax receipts, air transportation security fees, the postal service, Medicare premiums, and earnings from the Federal Reserve itself. Withdrawals go to pay for everything the government does, but all payments must pass through the Federal Reserve. Fortunately, the Federal Reserve would never allow the U.S. Treasury Department to overdraw its account, so there's no need to worry about the government running out of money.