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Tracking your tax dollars

It's a fair question: Just where do our tax dollars go?

One of my Twitter pals, @LaniAR, found this interesting tax flow chart, a snippet of which appears below, that tracks what is says the average man got for his tax dollars.


I must point out that there's no attribution for the numbers. It was posted by The Toilet Paper (I'm not kidding) back in April, but that doesn't necessarily mean the figures are from this year.

And to be fair, TP makes no claims as to the graphic's fiscal accuracy.

Still, it's a creative look at our taxes. And the comments are worth a read, too.

Update 11-21-09: Jess of  Wall Stats (cited in the next section) dropped me a note to claim credit for the graphic posted by TP. In that case, I trust the numbers. To find out why, keep reading.

Another graphic look at taxes: This flow chart immediately brought to mind Jess Bachman's  "Death & Taxes" poster. I blogged about this annual budgetary art exercise back in August.


The representation above of the two-feet-by-three-feet original is a bit hard to read. You can take a closer look at Bachman's artful displays of the national priorities in the president's fiscal budget (essentially a wish list) at, you got it,  Wall Stats.

And regardless of how how they are presented, do keep asking how your tax dollars are spent. Maybe we'll eventually get a clearer, if not prettier, picture.


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Hey there, I run and actually created both of the graphics you mention here. yes the one for the toilet paper too.

Greg Hollingsworth

Just wanted to mention quickly that TaxACT (my employer) provides you with a breakdown (called TaxWatch) of where your tax dollars are going after you complete your return.
It's a neat little feature that gives you a personalized detail of where your tax dollars are being put by the Fed.

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