Where Your Income Tax Dollars Go Chart

A Note and Explanation

Most of this newsletter is devoted to FCNL’s analysis of the president’s fiscal year 2008 budget proposals submitted to Congress.

Each year, before the April 15 deadline for filing your taxes, FCNL staff also produce a guide to how the federal government is using federal income tax dollars paid during the previous year. We produce this guide, which is reprinted on the facing page, in a form that displays how much of each tax dollar you pay goes to particular government functions.

We develop these numbers, e.g. 41 percent of your tax dollars goes to war, using data on actual government expenditures for fiscal year 2006—the year that corresponds with the tax forms you are filing this spring.

When the president submits his budget proposals to Congress in early February, the Office of Management and Budget posts detailed information about current and past budgets on the Internet. We download the whole budget and sort the line items into categories that lift up some of the values that are of particular concern to us.

We analyzed the “federal funds” budget, leaving out large and small trust funds, like Social Security and parts of Medicare, that have their own dedicated receipts and expenditures. We analyzed both “discretionary” and “entitlement or mandatory” spending, because Congress handles the decisions on both kinds of programs, and they all come out of our income tax dollars.

For further details and analyses of the president’s proposed budget for FY 2008 go to www.fcnl.org/budget.
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