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Sensing Savvy

Do You Know Where Your Tax Dollars Go?

Posted by Susan Eymann, MS on May 4, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Most of us have recently filled out and paid our income taxes. The average income tax payment is about $10,000. But did you know that Medicaid and Medicare combined are one of the top expenditures from that average $10,000 we pay in tax dollars?tax-dollars

Almost 30% of our income taxes go to payment for Medicare and Medicaid. In dollar amounts, that is $2,981, of which $1,289 goes to Medicaid and the other $1,145 goes to Medicare. This is in addition to the money taken from our paychecks for the Social Security and Medicare/Medicaid Trust Funds.

Health costs represent just a couple of dollars less than that spent by our largest federal budget line item, the military—which claims $2,983 of every $10,000 in income taxes.

Next in line is interest on our national debt, with $1,420 (14%) from every $10,000 in taxes collected. Dollars for housing assistance and food—including food stamps and disaster relief/insurance—as well as labor are similar to the amount paid on the national debt, claiming 13% ($1,305) of our tax dollars.

In contrast, spending on science and education is a mere one-half of one percent, or $504. That includes 50 cents allotted to the National Endowment for the Arts; 62 cents to NASA; and 77 cents to elementary and secondary education.

Finally, Land and Energy—which includes agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and National Parks—glean less than one/fourth of one percent, or $201, from each $10,000 of income taxes collected.

To sum it up, $10,000 in income taxes is divided as follows:

  1. Military ($2,983)
  2. Health ($2,981)
  3. Interest on Debt ($1,420)
  4. Housing, Food, Labor ($1,305)
  5. Governance, Law, Commerce ($606)
  6. Science and Education ($504)
  7. Land and Energy ($201)

Reference: Gleaned from GEICO Coinage: an infographic by Emily Barone and Lon Tweeten featured in Time magazine.

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