Hopefully anyone reading this has already done his taxes, but it’s an interesting point to ask where the money is going. We have a funny attitude in the country: we look at taxes as a personal assault on our checkbooks, and yet we demand that the government fix everything we perceive is wrong. I’m one of those “tax and spend” liberals who actually doesn’t mind paying taxes for the privilege of living in a free country, knowing the local fire department still makes house calls, and exercising freedoms of speech and religion.
The White House has a web page where you can calculate (in general terms) where your money goes. This shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, but the taxes we pay are a bit of a shell game. If you look at your paycheck stub you can see that the federal government takes money out of three different categories: federal tax, social security, and medicare. In reality all three deductions go into the same pot, and this pot pays social security, medicare, medicaid, defense, national parks, foreign aid, and NPR.
It’s a pretty simple formula and I’m a little surprised that nobody thought of this sooner. The percentage of the budget is fixed and this page allows you to put in the taxes you paid into a calculator. Go ahead and try. It could be hopeful or sobering, depending on your views. As for me, I like that Nancy and I paid $879.53 for Veteran’s benefits.