See Where Your Federal Taxes Go

We’re all doing our taxes, if we haven’t done them already.  While the numbers are fresh in your mind, find out where the money you’re paying Uncle Sam will go, using this handy tool on the White House website: The 2011 Federal Taxpayer Receipt.

Plug in the amounts you paid this year for income tax, Medicare, and Social Security, and you’ll see a “receipt” showing how your money is distributed, with exact percentages and dollar amounts.  It’s yet another way to gauge the relative size of various federal programs and commitments and their relation to you.

Oil painting by Pieter Brueghel the Younger (1620-40) entitled Paying the Tax

Image: Pieter Brueghel the Younger, “Paying the Tax,” (1620-1640),
courtesy USC Fischer Museum of Art via Wikimedia.

Cartoons & Posters From the History of US Taxation, Tax History Project.
Help Understanding the Budget

2 responses

  1. Do those categories somehow take into consideration all the earmark spending that occurs? A lot of those $$$$ go into pretty esoteric “special” projects. By the way — GREAT cartoon you found from a long ways back.

    • Sam–Thank you. I suppose that so-called earmarks are folded in to the budget. After all, once they are voted for, they are legitimate government expenses, are they not? (And thanks for the compliment on the illustration–I love it, too. It humanizes what is today such an abstract transaction. And drives home the point that paying taxes is in a sense an ancient tradition!) SB