Saturday, April 15, 2006

Taxes: What Are They Spent On?

Brian Riedl:
"As the April 15 tax deadline edges closer, taxpayers frantically completing their 1040s may be wondering just what their hard-earned federal tax dollars pay for, anyway.

Washington will spend $23,760 per household in 2006 -- the highest inflation-adjusted total since World War II, and $6,500 more than in 2001. The federal government will collect $20,044 per household in taxes. The remaining $3,716 represents this year’s budget deficit per household, which, along with all prior government debt, will be dumped in the laps of our children."
It seems well worth noting that our national government will spend almost $24,000 per household in 2006, yet it only takes about $20,000 from a household, on average. I wonder how many households will pay less than that $20,000? How much less would be interesting as well? Do you suppose there are some households who pay $0 in taxes to the federal government this year? If so, those households will be sharing in the services provided by our national government, and that means, such a household would be enjoying what is provided by almost $24,000 expended in their behalf.

Mr. Riedl also tells us what government spends that $24,000 per household on:

1. $7,875 will be spent on Social Security & Medicare.
2. $4,701 will be spent on national defense.
3. $3,579 will be spent on low-income programs.
4. $1,930 will be spent on interest payment on the federal government's debt.
5. $870 will be spent on federal employment retirement benefits.
6. $732 will be spent on education.
7. $671 will be spent on health research and regulation.
8. $618 will be spent on veterans' benefits.
9. $456 will be spent on community and regional development.
10. $402 will be spent on highways and mass transit.
11. $363 will be spent on justice administration.
12. $338 will be spent on unemployment benefits.
13. $305 will be spent on international affairs.
14. $287 will be spent on natural resources and the environment.
15. $235 will be spent on agriculture and largely on subsidies to large farms.
16. $398 will be spent on other (including space exploration, social services, etc).

Besides wondering about why our national government spends on some of these items, I also have to wonder if the priorities are right. Oh, and I can't avoid thinking about just how little of the spending the federal government presumably does on behalf of my household (remember to the tune of about $24,000) actually involves something I benefit from. How do these numbers look to you?

No comments: