Where Your Tax Dollars Go
To celebrate tax season, the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has compiled a nice summary of where your dollars go (or, more specifically, where they went last year.)
In brief, the federal government took in more than $2.5 trillion in tax revenues in fiscal 2007, and spent more than $2.7 trillion (the $162 billion difference represents the budget deficit, to be paid by your kids and grandkids).
Twenty-two percent ($590 billion) of that $2.7 trillion went to defense and national security, including the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Social Security consumed 21 percent ($586 billion), while Medicare, Medicaid and SCHIP ate $572 billion (21 percent).
Lesser expenses included interest on the national debt ($237 billion, or 9 percent); benefits for federal retirees and veterans (6 percent); scientific and medical research (3 percent); transportation infrastructure (2 percent); education (2 percent); and international programs such as food aid (less than 1 percent).
Not many surprises here, perhaps, but it is a good representation of a nation’s priorities. As CBPP noted in its report:
Doing just the opposite, President George W. Bush yesterday urged Congress to make his tax cuts to the wealthiest Americans permanent.