You just sent thousands of dollars to the U.S. government in an envelope with a tax form inside. Someone in your family may or may not have attended an anti-tax Tea Party rally and you may or may not have heard someone on the news railing about welfare and giveaways. Here’s a first fact about your tax money: welfare and giveaways aren’t the problem. They make up a fraction of the 3 percent you are paying in taxes for “education, training, employment and social services.” Washington is spending the largest share of your tax money, 17 percent, on wars– even though neither of our recent wartime Presidents Bush and Obama have asked you for a dime to pay for what is now three military campaigns, two of which have been raging for more than half a decade at an outrageous hourly rate.
Anil Kandangath is the someone behind the interactive graphic at Where Did My Tax Dollars Go. If you’re more a word person than an image person, go to the long list of general government programs at the Sources page. The programs are ranked by subject areas and cost. The list works to demonstrate spending priorities but also to make the work of government less abstract.