How Much Did You Pay for National Defense?
Following up on a project they did last year, the White House has released its 2011 Federal Taxpayer Receipt. This tool allows you to put in how much you paid in Social Security, Medicare, and income taxes last year and see how much of your tax dollars went to various areas of the budget. You can see how much of your money pays for defense, health care, income security, veterans benefits, international affairs, and, yes, also interest on the debt.
Note that you can also expand the general categories to see subcategories, like Medicaid and CHIP spending under health care.
As we said about last year's receipt, this tool is a great way to reach out to the public on the debt issue and make it more real than numbers like debt as a percent of GDP in 2022. It can also give people a much better idea of what federal spending is composed of, or to put it another way, where the big money is. It could also help to dispel budget myths about small ways in which we we could solve the problem.
Try the receipt yourself here.