I’m a visual learner and love to read infographics (like this one on mint.com) and use interactive sites and calculators.
A friend of mine showed me a visual tool the other day that displays a graph to show how your tax dollars were spent.
Apparently, Google had a contest a while back challenging developers to create a visual display of how our tax dollars were spent. All the entries can be found here: www.datavizchallenge.org/explore
Where Did My Tax Dollars Go?
The winner can be found at www.wheredidmytaxdollarsgo.com. This site has you enter your gross income for the year and asks you to select your filing status.
Once inputted, it displays a pretty cool graph of how your tax dollars were used to run the country. Pretty sweet if you ask me!
Here’s a snapshot of the graph for a couple who made $50,000 last year. The data is based on 2010 taxes, but it still gives a good idea of where your tax dollars are being spent.
It’s interesting to see that most of the money was used on national defense, with social security and other need based programs in a close second and third place.
The breakdown for your income takes into consideration the standard deduction, so if you have more than that, it may be different. (Though it’s a cool tool, it’s not a guarantee that you paid $x.xx towards each area – it’s just a good reference point)
Did you try this out? Was it surprising to see how your money was being spent?