Top Five Facts About a $1.2 Trillion Secret Project

Whispering Secrets

Photo by Cameron Maddux

Congress is tackling a project that involves $1.2 trillion of your money, and they’re doing it behind closed doors.

If you’ve been following along, you know about the “blank slate” tax reform initiative in the Senate, intended to rid the tax code of loopholes. And you know that the leaders of this plan, Senators Baucus and Hatch, promised colleagues that their requests to retain specific loopholes would be kept secret.

Congress will be on recess all month, which means they'll be in their home districts meeting with constituents. So now is the time to weigh in about this secrecy and about which tax breaks we should keep and which we should get rid of. For inspiration, we present:

The top five fun facts about taxes and tax reform.

  1. About 80 percent of all federal tax revenues come from paychecks of regular Americans.

  2. Tax loopholes, deductions, and credits totaled about $1.2 trillion this year – more than the budget deficit.

  3. The top 10 tax breaks save taxpayers about $900 billion a year, and more than half of that goes towards the top 20 percent of income earners.

  4. The #1 tax break is the “exclusion of employer contributions for medical insurance premiums.” That means the money your employer pays towards your health benefits isn’t taxed, and that will cost the treasury about $180.5 billion this year.

  5. The paperback version of the tax code weighs 18 pounds.

Want more tax facts? We have easy-to-understand resources to help you decide and take action: