US Federal Budget | Jorge Cham at PhD Comics
US Federal Budget | Jorge Cham at PhD Comics

What Works

This was published as a joke. To be sure, the numbers represent real data. The punch line was supposed to be that research gets so little of the total pool. Or at least that is what I thought it was supposed to be. PhD Comics people prove their dedication to comedy with this. Time consuming to pull together and unlike their normal style.

That being said, others have attempted to find a way to visualize where tax dollars go. The vertical orientation is nice for the web. We’ve all learned to accept scrolling up/down much more than right/left. It’s nice to see tiny slices included here and there.

What Needs Work

I have trouble getting the overview from this graphic. Even just using a bigger font for some of the lumped categories would have helped. The aggregating triangles in the background are good in theory but not quite perfected in practice. Still not totally sure how they are meant to be interpreted.


Cham, Jorge. (2010) The US Federal Budget.