There are different ways in which a government subsidizes. There are direct hand-outs (grants), and indirect hand-outs (subsidized loans, loan guarantees).
And then there are tax deductions and credits:
(Source). All subsidies cost us. And “[o]ur national debt, at $15.8 [trillion], would form a stack of $100 bills 10,712 miles high.” (Source).
Federal tax receipts are reduced by more than $1 trillion a year by various tax deductions and credits, known as tax expenditures, often tied to a policy aim. Ending them would nearly eliminate the federal deficit, which is projected to be $1.2 trillion in the current fiscal year.
But the three largest are as popular as they are expensive: the mortgage interest deduction has cost about $75 billion a year recently, the employer deduction for health care has cost $120 billion a year, and the charitable-giving deduction has cost $38 billion a year, according to the bipartisan Joint Committee on Taxation.
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Still other tax breaks verge on the unpopular, criticized by aides of both parties. Offshore tax havens and other tax shelters cost the government about $150 billion a year, said Senator Kent Conrad of North Dakota, chairman of the Senate Budget Committee.