Personal income tax was first imposed by Congress in 1861 to help pay for the Civil War. At that time they collected 3% of all income over $800. Last year the Government collected $2.3 trillion in federal taxes. It is crazy to think that only covered 64% of the $3.6 trillion the Government spent in 2011. So where does all this money go? The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities breaks it down very well. Here are the four main areas your federal taxes are spent:
- Medicare, Medicaid and the Children Health Insurance Program – the Government spent 21% or $768 billion on these programs. They help provide health care services to the elderly, low income children and parents and people with disabilities.
- Social Security – 20% or $731 billion was spent to provide retirement benefits to retired workers and their families. This program also provides benefits to disabled workers and their families.
- Defense and International Security – the Government spent 20% or $718 billion of the budget on such things as funding the Department of Defense and operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Safety net programs – 13% or $466 billion is used to help support individuals and families that are experiencing hardship. These include unemployment benefits, food stamps, low-income housing assistance and many other support programs.
There are many other areas the Government spends our tax money. One area that concerns me is the amount our Government is spending on debt interest. They spend 6% or $230 billion on the national debt, which was based on $10 trillion. The current national debt is $15.6 trillion. So not only are we paying for the interest, but in the future we are going to be responsible for paying the debt.
I think the Government needs to be spending more of our tax dollars on education. In 2011, only 2% or $72 billion was spent on education, I never realized it was this low. This is the one area that is going to decide the future of our country and it is not a priority. This a little disturbing to me, but that is just my opinion.
Now that you know where our Government spends our tax money, what do you think? Let me know with a comment below.
“America is a land of taxation that was founded to avoid taxation.”
– LAURENCE J. PETER