|Interest on the National Debt||$287.03|
|Combat Operations in Iraq and Afghanistan||$229.17|
|Health care research (NIH)||$46.54|
|Education Funding for Low Income K-12 Students||$38.17|
|Military Retirement Benefits||$32.60|
|Pell Grants for Low Income College Students||$29.75|
|NASA Space Program||$28.09|
|Internal Revenue Service||$17.69|
|Environmental Clean Up (EPA)||$11.67|
|Drug Enforcement Agency||$3.14|
|Funding for the Arts||$0.24|
|Salaries and benefits for members of Congress||$0.19|
Wouldn't it be nice when you pay your taxes if you could get an itemized receipt of where your money is going? A D.C.-based policy group called "The Third Way" has produced a policy paper called "A Taxpayer Receipt," from which the above table is taken for the median tax filer in 2009 making an adjusted gross income of $34,140, and paying $2,790 in federal taxes, and $2,610 in Social Security and Medicare "contributions," for a total federal tax bill of $5,400.
"Corn syrup, milk chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, coconut, almond, soy lecithin… any consumer can read these ingredients and their nutritional value on every package of a75-cent Almond Joy. What is provided to a taxpayer with a $5,400 tax bill? Nothing. For many Americans, the amount they pay in taxes is larger than any purchase they make during the year, but studies show they know almost nothing about where that money goes.
An electorate unschooled in basic budget facts is a major obstacle to controlling the nation’s deficit, not to mention addressing a host of economic and social problems. We suggest that everyone who files a tax return receive a “taxpayer receipt.” This receipt would tell them to the penny what their taxes paid for based on the amount they paid in federal income taxes and FICA."
A slightly different version of an interactive itemized tax receipt calculator exists at a website called Where My Money Goes, which allows you to put in any income amount and see an itemized tax receipt.
Grouch: I think this is a superb idea and should be required for all levels of government, federal, state and local, so taxpayers can see where their money is going. Personally, I'm not too happy paying so much for combat operations in Iraq and Afghanistan, health care research, foreign aid, education, Pell grants, the IRS, head start, the EPA, public housing, national parks, the DEA, Amtrack, and anything for the arts. I am also highly skeptical taxpayers are getting a bargain with social security, medicare and medicade.