The Life of a Tax Dollar – in Diagram Form.

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities has a fun chart detailing the basics of where your tax dollars end up:

Two things: first, if our politics were rational, we’d recognize that spending a fifth of our budget on the military and defense is A) unnecessary and B) unwise.  And second, our defense expenditures are almost double that of our spending on every other aspect of the social safety net.  Long story short: a modest decrease in defense spending would free up enough money to make significant inroads in expanding some parts of the social safety net to millions of Americans while also bringing our defense budget to a more reasonable size.  Of couse, the time for that kind of action was nearly twenty years ago at the conclusion of the Cold War.  These days, asking the Pentagon to reduce its budget to merely a third of global military spending, rather than its current 48 percent, is the political equivalent of declaring your alleigence to the Osama bin HitlerStalin.

3 thoughts on “The Life of a Tax Dollar – in Diagram Form.

  1. glory April 17, 2009 at 3:25 pm Reply

    I am really disappointed to see how few of those dollars go to education and infrastructure.

  2. lsn April 17, 2009 at 5:40 pm Reply

    I’m actually most surprised by the amount going towards servicing debt.

  3. Scott April 17, 2009 at 9:29 pm Reply

    So what would a “modest decrease’ in defense spending be? Why not just pay off the gov’t debt and shift the 8%? Or better yet maybe folks should remember that it is not the fed gov’s job to pay for everything. The US did make defense cuts after the cold war ended, remember all the military bases that were closed and how all the congress critters whined that their base was vital? You seem to forget that the former USSR isn’t the only bad guy out there and just b/c they are gone doesn’t mean the US can disband the military. For example, having the ability to project force half way across the globe and rescue our citizens from pirates as the US did costs money.

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