Today is tax day. This year taxpayers received two extra days to file because our traditional tax day, April 15th, fell on a weekend.
So what does the government buy with all that hard-earned money? That’s a good question. On Saturday a Wall Street Journal article (subscription may be required) attempted to answer that question. Editors asked the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget how 2016 federal spending would be divided if the current budget equated to $100 (see graphic below). Several findings stand out.
- Over half of all dollars ($54.11) were spent on three categories: Social Security ($23.61), Medicare ($15.26), National defense ($15.24)
- Interest on the budget ($6.25) was the fifth largest single expenditure surpassing such totals as Veterans Administrtion ($4.58), Education ($2.08), Transportation ($2.39) and SSI ($1.53)
- Major social insurance and benefits programs comprise $42.84 of every $100 of federal spending: Social Security ($23.61), Medicare ($5.26), Medicaid ($9.55) and SSI ($1.53) and food stamps ($1.89)
- Spending on Medicare ($15.26); Spending on National Defense ($15.24)
You didn’t know the government was a large health insurance and benefits company?