Federal government spending is closing in on $4 trillion a year. Even though a new administration is promising a wave of change, it’s still going to require a lot of money to keep the country running. A big chunk of that money comes directly from you, the taxpayer. The government gets most of its spending money via tax revenue, including $1.53 trillion via individual income taxes. Corporate income taxes, customs duties and excise taxes are other big sources of cash for the government, as are Social Security and Medicare taxes and borrowing.
Those numbers are almost too huge to comprehend. Whether your tax bill is large or small, it probably seems like a drop in the bucket of total government spending. (Here’s how to deal with a hefty tax bill.) To help give people a better idea of where their tax dollars actually go, the National Priorities Project put together a taxpayer receipt that breaks down what the government does with your money. (The White House releases its own taxpayer receipt that categorizes spending in slightly different ways.)