Where your tax dollars went

Nearly one-third was spent on the military, just 2 percent on education

Where your tax dollars went

Congratulations! You’ve managed to decode and fill out one of the most complicated tax forms in the world. You deserve a medal—or a least a refund. In the meantime, perhaps you’d like to know how the U.S. government used the tax dollars you paid in 2009. Below, courtesy of the National Priorities Project, a nonprofit that analyzes U.S. government spending, is a chart indicating how a hypothetical $10,000 would have been spent. As usual, the biggest expense is for military—$3,190, or 31.9 percent, when military-related debt (for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan) is added to core military spending. The breakdown does not include Social Security or Medicare taxes or expenditures. To compute the figures for your own 2009 taxes, go to www.nationalpriorities.org/taxchart/2010.

Budget category Amount

Military $2,650

Health $2,010

Income Security & Labor $850

Interest on Non-military Debt $820

Housing & Community $720

Interest on Military Debt $540

Food $370

Veterans’ Benefits $350

Environment, Energy & Science $250

Education $200

International Affairs $130

Transportation $130