Tracking Our Taxes: Ritholtz Chart

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg View columnist writing about finance, the economy and the business world. He started the Big Picture blog in 2003 and is the founder of Ritholtz Wealth Management, an asset management and financial planning firm.
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As it's Tax Day, let's look at where our tax dollars come from and where they go.

The first chart shows the sources of federal revenue. The biggest source is individual income taxes, accounting for 46 percent of the total. Payroll taxes, split between the employer and employee, account for another 31.7 percent. Corporate taxes are a mere 13.5 percent and assorted customs duties, excise taxes and miscellaneous sources make up a few percent.

What we spend those trillions on can be seen in the chart below: 33.6 percent goes to Social Security and unemployment benefits. Medicare and health-related spending account for 26.6 percent. Next up are military spending and veterans' benefits, which capture a huge amount: 20.4 percent.

The last 20 percent or so goes to lots of smaller expenditures. Paying interest on our debt grabs 6.3 percent. The items rounding out federal spending are: food and agriculture (3.3 percent), transportation (2.6 percent), housing (2.6 percent), education (2.0 percent), energy (1.1 percent) and science (0.7 percent).

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

(Barry Ritholtz writes about finance, the economy and the business world for Bloomberg View. Follow him on Twitter @Ritholtz.)

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