Friday, April 15, 2011

It's Tax Day. Do you know where your taxes are?

The White House has developed a cool little widget that will let you calculate how much of your tax dollars go to different programs. They call it your Federal Taxpayer Receipt. Visit here and enter the amounts you paid for your federal income tax, your Social Security taxes and your Medicare taxes, and it will calculate for you all kinds of different categories of expenditures. You can see, even without adding in the dollar amounts, the percentages of expenditures.

They let you expand certain categories. So, the 26.3% of your Income Tax that goes to National Defense can be expanded to show you that 6% goes to military personnel, while 10.5% goes to "ongoing operations, equipment and supplies." That means the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and now the no-fly zone over Libya, plus the ship-aid we are supplying in Japan. Attsa lotta dough! You can hover your mouse cursor over the various lines and an explanation bubble will pop up over the line. Some explanations are more explanatory than others.

On this day when taxes are due, what better way to avoid doing your taxes than playing around to see what happens to the money you ought to be calculating?

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