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Friday, January 20, 2006

Where Do All Your Tax Dollars Go?

And who get's the bulk of it? I'll give you a hint ... it's not the Deparment of Eduction.

Triple Pundit brings our attention to a wonderful graphical chart that proportionally illustrates the breakdown of pretty much everything the US government spent money on in 2004.

The chart displays the United States discretionary budget - all the money Congress has control over, so basically all the money taken out of your paycheck for the Federal Income Taxes (Corporate and Excise taxes contribute a small portion as well) - in a series of circles varying in size proportional the the amount of tax revenue spent on them.

A small version of the graphic is below the fold:

Not surprisingly, over half of the tax revenue - some $399 billion of the total $782 billion 2004 discretionary budget - goes to the Department of Defense and various "defense" spending. The remaining half - $383 billion - is divied up amongst social services and public infrastructure expenditures headed by the Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, Veteran Affairs, Housing and Urban Development, Agriculture, Interior and of course Energy and Transportation as well as the Deparments of State and Homeland Security - there are others, but those are the big ones.

This breakdown of spending is much more informative than those typically issued by the government which also include mandatory spending on Social Security, Welfare and Medicare/Medicaid. These 'official' government spending breakdowns are misleading as the mandatory spending items skew the picture and hide what your Federal Income Taxes are really going towards - you pay seperate Social Security and Welfare checks so you know where those taxes are going.

Charts like this one (True Majority offers a similar but simplified animation that gets a similar point across) serve to truly illustrate just where your elected officials are spending your money. Remember, you voted for these guys. Did you really want them to spend over half your money making war machines for "defense" purposes? If not, I suggest you speek up - both at the polls next time around (assuming you have much of a choice between the two candidates) or through communication with your representatives and grass roots action.

If you ask me, this chart is a perfect illustration of a nation with its priorities in entirely the wrong place.

[BTW, U.S. defense funding is more than all our allies and most of our enemies combined. Check out True MajorityM for more...]

1 comment:

Alletta Brenner said...

Jesse you rock. we were having a debate about miltary spending and googled it and damn, there was your blog, third on the search list!! Bet you got a whole lot of hits today!

Sorry we won't make it to your house warming party. (don't you live with Julia now?)

love alletta and ryan.