Atlantic Mag/Center Budget Priorities Budget Graphs



The Atlantic Home

Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go? A Long Story in 5 Quick Graphs

By Derek Thompson
Tax Day 2011 is Monday, April 18. But where does all our money go? What are all those IRS checksfor?

Here are five ways to look at our tax receipt and the way our tax dollars are used to define our national values. In the gallery below, I’ve also included a handful of images that dive deeply into the question, How Much Money Do We Fork Over? and How Is the Money Spent?


What the Top 20% Earns ... and Pays



  • What the Top 20% Earns ... and Pays
  • Average Tax Rates by Income
  • Taxes Falling for the Richest
  • The Evolution of the U.S. Government
  • The Evolution of U.S. Taxes
  • The Death of the 70 Percent Income Tax Rate
  • Taxes as a Share of GDP Through History

The top 20 percent of the country took in about 53 percent of all income in 2009. They paid 67 percent of total federal taxes. This is consistent with the features of a progressive tax system, in which the richest pay a larger portion of their income in taxes.

1. The Tax Receipt

The receipt speaks for itself. Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, interest and Middle East wars accounts for the vast majority of our budget. The upshot: Cutting foreign aid and making senators take a pay cut snips insignifi

About Bruce

Work for sustainable development of small islands and the Chesapeake Bay; ex-Peace Corps (Volunteer and staff) in LA & Caribbean; cruised Caribbean on S/Y Meander for three years; like small tropical islands, French canals, Umbria, Tasmania, and NZ. Married 52 years to the late Kincey Burdett Potter (see President of the now-sunsetting Island Resources Foundation.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.