Tax Breakdown

by James & Miel on December 30, 2009 · 0 comments

I found a great article on VisualEconomics about the tax breakdown in wealthy countries (“How Wealthy Countries TAX Their Citizens“). All percentages are expressed as a percent of GDP, and it was interesting to see how the United States stacks up to other wealthy nations. The most interesting fact was that the U.S. has one of the lowest tax revenues as a percent of GDP in the world.


I found this other website created by a couple MIT grads that can show exactly how your tax money is allocated (“The Tax Breakdown Project“). You can enter the amount of federal taxes you paid last year (default amount: $7,554.50). For example, entering the default amount gets you the following results:

Your $7,554.50 made up 0.000000260332938% of the total federal budget of $2,901,861,001,000. Here’s how your government spent it:

  • Department of Health and Human Services: $1820.35 (24.096%)
  • Social Security Administration: $1703.79 (22.553%)
  • Department of Defense–Military: $1518.48 (20.1%)
  • Department of the Treasury: $1366.72 (18.091%)
  • Others: $453.32 (6.001%)
  • Department of Agriculture: $231.76 (3.068%)
  • Department of Veterans Affairs: $216.83 (2.87%)
  • Supplementals not Offset by Spending Reductions: $191.84 (2.539%)
  • Department of Transportation: $174.51 (2.31%)
  • Office of Personnel Management: $167.03 (2.211%)
  • Department of Education: $152.56 (2.019%)
  • Department of Labor: $136.14 (1.802%)
  • Other Defense Civil Programs: $127.82 (1.692%)
  • Department of Housing and Urban Development: $115.59 (1.53%)
  • Department of Homeland Security: $112.46 (1.489%)
You can then drill down on each of those categories to see more detail about where that cash is actually going. I found the website incredibly interesting and spent a decent amount of time on their looking at the data.

-Michael
Twitter: @michael_dink

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