Friday Fun/Depressing Link



Boing Boing links a funky visual representation of where your federal tax dollars go.

NEXT: Reclaiming My Inner Geek

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  1. One of the depressing things about it is that the author is only using the graphic to bemoan the fact that more of our money isn’t spent on what he thinks it should be spent on.
    Sure, curtail military spending, but kill NPR funding and all the rest of the horseshit waste.

  2. I have a big problem with this chart. The artist implies that congress has no control over “non-discretionary” spending. They may not have control over it through the normal appropriations process, but they do control it through the legislative process. Leaving this out greatly exagerrates the percentage of money spent on the military and greatly underplays total spending.

  3. bunch of crap does not include Social Security and Medicare….

  4. .852 Billion for the BATFE?

    The Law Enforcement organ so moronic the FBI mocks them?

  5. ARGGGGH MY EYES! My eyes!
    Must drink to kill pain…
    Gaddumb department of asgdobgoll Why if I ever stamgle bremser 10 Billion Dollars! shevel Never asdfjdle!*@#%

  6. My favorite one so far is .2 Billion for US Dept. of State Famine Fund.

    That’s right.

    In a nation where people are continually wringing their hands about an obesity “epidemic” the feds earmark 2/10 of a Billion for a freaking famine fund.

  7. My favorite is the 20ish billion on the defense side marked as “other”. Area 51, anybody?

  8. I suppose it depends on how you spend the famine money. Hell, the locust alone can run 50 million bucks.

  9. Graphics = top-notch
    Proofreading = unacceptable

  10. The IRS gets over 10 billion dollars for it’s opperations? Wow.

  11. You know what Will Rogers said about death and taxes: “At least death doesn’t get worse every year.”

  12. Billion here. Billion there. Pretty soon you’re talking about real money.

  13. Great idea. It is pretty hard to get a grip on the difference between a half billion and fifty billion, when the numbers get that big. To me, numbers that high may as well be Monopoly money. It’s nice to have some visual representation to put it literally (I guess) into perspective.

  14. Jeez, they’re still funding the useless, marine killing Osprey aircraft?

    And what’s with spending 5 billion dollars on Food and Nutrition sciences? It costs 5 bil to teach the food pyramid?

  15. Leaving out Social Security and Medicare is consistent with the ludicrous idea that the taxes funding these programs are not income taxes.

  16. We give $27 billion dollars a year to the National Institute of Health?

    It costs $16 billion to secure our borders this badly? Sixteen billion?

    Great chart.

  17. mediageek, I’m pretty sure the State Department spends the famine fund overseas. Because that’s where they have famines. And that’s where the State Department spends it money.

    phocion, the entitlement and tax charts are neat ideas, though I question how you divvie up ‘where tax revenue comes from.’ On the spending side, there are objective departments to report figure for. Grouping taxpayers into like categories to report figure for would seem to a be process fraught with ideological implications.

    The “Constituional” map, even moreso.

  18. The “Constituional” map, even moreso.

    I agree. That one would be libertarian propaganda. Spending could be done objectively, and I think taxing could be as well, if the grouping was done by type of revenue (income tax, corprate taxes, tariff, etc.). I would even argue that AMT/non-AMT and tax brackets could be represented without making any kind of unfair political point. Any distinction between type of tax or rate that exists in legislation could be a cutoff point. Gathering such data would be much more difficult than spending however, and the chart is of lesser importance than spending in my estimation, so I’m not holding my breath for that one.

  19. phocion,

    OK, tax brackets sounds simple enough. But even there, there are choices. The portion of a multimillionaire’s income tax that gets taxed at the 10% rate – do you include that in the 10% tax bracket, or do you include all of his taxes in a category for over-$1 million/year?

  20. It is funny how this thing can serve as an ink blot test. I REALLY wanted social security and medicare in play, but we can make do.

    I find myself wondering not so much about military spending vs. nonmilitary spending, but about certain very expensive military boondoggles that still eat billions.

    We are still dumping millions into the Osprey, are you kidding me?

  21. 1.344 billion for the Administration On Aging?

    Administration on Aging?


    I see there is .297 billion to housing for people with AIDS, but no housing for people with [insert any given chronic illness here]. Huh?

    What about diabites, cancer, alzheimers, parkinsons, etc.

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