The National Priorities Project
This morning on the radio I heard about a group called the National Priorities Project. This group gives people an easy way to visualize how the government spends money. This is an important thing to know.
Many times when people have money, they want to keep it. If they spend it, they want to know what they are spending it on, to make sure that it’s being put towards things that are important to them. We generally hold ourselves to pretty stringent standards on how we spend money. Why not do the same of the government, who gets about 40% of your paycheck anyway?
The National Priorities Project does a good job of showing what your taxes are really used for. For example, if you go to their Income Tax Chart page and enter in an amount of money paid in income taxes, it shows you how that total gets spent. Did you know that 4.1% of your taxes goes to education? Did you know that 18.7% of your taxes go to paying interest on the national debt? How about that the biggest chunk, 28.5%, is spent on the military? This tools helps you answer these questions and more.
The second interesting part of the site is the Federal Budget Trade-Offs page, which gives you an idea about what money being spent in one area means for other areas. For example, according to this tool, Detroit taxpayers paid “$555.4 million for the cost of the Iraq war through 2007.” This money could 4,477 “Affordable Housing Units” in the city.
I encourage everyone to find out what exactly their money is being spent on. Let’s hold the people that spend our tax dollars accountable. If there’s one thing that upsets most people more than anything, it’s have someone mess with their money.
One Love. One II.