Today is Tax Day. You may have already paid your taxes and told the government how much you earned and therefore paid. However, if you haven’t done it before today – you need to settle up with the US Government (and most states/cities/counties/etc.). With April 18 finally here, U.S. taxpayers are likely asking themselves:
Where exactly are my tax dollars going?
To answer the question, here is a “Taxpayer Receipt” showing how each $100 of taxes was spent, both for 2016 and five years earlier. It was prepared by the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), a nonpartisan nonprofit group in Washington that monitors federal spending. The group’s three chairmen are Republican Mitch Daniels, Democrat Leon Panetta and independent Tim Penny.
Looking at the list of expenditures, it is clear why some say the U.S. is a giant insurance company with an army. Half of all spending goes for Social Security benefits and health programs such as Medicare and Medicaid, while another 20% is for defense and military benefits.
In the last five years, the shares of spending for Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid have each risen more than 15%. Social Security and Medicare increased largely due to the aging of the population, while the increase in Medicaid comes from aging, growth in health-care costs and expanded eligibility under the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.
Over the same period, the share devoted to national defense dropped 22%, in part because Congress reduced war spending and capped other military spending in 2011, according to CRFB senior staffer Marc Goldwein.
The tax figures include all federal revenue. The individual income tax provided nearly half the total (47%), while payroll taxes kicked in about one-third (34%). The rest came from corporate income taxes (9%) and other levies such as customs duties and excise taxes (9%).