Every year the National Priorities Project helps Americans understand how the money they paid in federal taxes was spent. Here’s the data for 2014:
Since the 1940s, individual Americans have paid 40-50% of the federal government’s bills through taxes on income and investment. Another chunk (about 1/3rd today) is paid in the form of payroll taxes for things like social security and medicare. This year, corporate taxes made up only about 11% of the federal government’s revenue; this is way down from a historic high of almost 40% in 1943.
Visit the National Priorities Project here and find out where state tax dollars went, how each state benefits from federal tax dollars, and who gets the biggest tax breaks. Or fiddle around with how you would organize American priorities.
Lisa Wade, PhD is an Associate Professor at Tulane University. She is the author of American Hookup, a book about college sexual culture; a textbook about gender; and a forthcoming introductory text: Terrible Magnificent Sociology. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.