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How are U.S. taxpayer dollars spent?

        Money | Taxes

Author's Note

I love the Tax Receipt Calculator on WhiteHouse.gov. It's highly informative and not a little shocking to see exactly how my tax dollars are spent. But my question is, why don't all Americans receive a similar receipt when we file our taxes? There's that graph of federal income and outlays we receive with our tax instruction booklets, but what about individual tallies? We expect a receipt from every other financial transaction in our lives. If the corner store gives me a receipt with my pack of Slim Jims, shouldn't the federal government give me a receipt for my generous (if compulsory) contribution to the national piggy bank? Wouldn't it be nice to receive a kindly written thank-you note from the IRS attached to a detailed receipt of how every cent of our tax dollars would be spent that year. It's not that hard. It's just a matter of plugging a number into the existing budget. I think even the feds could handle that...

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Sources

  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "Policy Basics: Introduction to the Federal Budget Process." January 3, 2011 http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=155
  • Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. "Policy Basics: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go?" April 15, 2011 http://www.cbpp.org/cms/index.cfm?fa=view&id=1258
  • Office of Management and Budget. USAspending.gov. "Prime Award Spending Data: FY 2011" http://www.usaspending.gov/index.php?q=node%2F3&fiscal_year=2011&tab=By+Agency
  • Office of Management and Budget. USAspending.gov. "Prime Award Spending Data: Direct Payments" http://www.usaspending.gov/explore?&tab=By%20Location&direct_payments=Y&fromfiscal=yes&carryfilters=on&fiscal_year=2011
  • Office of Management and Budget. USAspending.gov. "Top 10 Contractors FY 2011" http://www.usaspending.gov/?direct_payments=Y&fromfiscal=yes&carryfilters=on&fiscal_year=2011&tab=By+Agency&contracts=Y&overridecook=yes&q=explore&maj_contracting_agency=9700&maj_contracting_agency_name=Department+of+Defense
  • Office of Management and Budget. USAspending.gov. "All Spending Data: Department of Homeland Security" http://www.usaspending.gov/?fromfiscal=yes&carryfilters=on&fiscal_year=2011&tab=By+Agency&insurance=Y&overridecook=yes&q=explore&maj_contracting_agency=7000&maj_contracting_agency_name=Department+of+Homeland+Security
  • Office of Management and Budget. USAspending.gov. "Prime Award Spending Data: FY 2011" http://www.usaspending.gov/index.php?q=node%2F3&fiscal_year=2011&tab=By+Agency
  • WhiteHouse.gov. "U.S. National Debt" http://www.whitehouse.gov/infographics/us-national-debt
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