For the third year in a row, President Barack Obama has released information regarding how American tax dollars are being spent.
Located on the White House website, the Federal Taxpayer Receipt allows taxpayers to enter their income, Social Security and Medicare taxes and get a personalized look at where their tax dollars are going.
Check below for the 10 biggest government programs that your income taxes pay for.
National Defense in the United States accounts for nearly 25 percent of your total income tax payment. Broken down even further, military salaries and benefits for members of the armed services make up roughly a quarter, while most of the remainder goes toward equipment and supplies, as well as weapons, construction, and research and development.
According to the Federal Taxpayer Receipt, health care programs utilize 22.45 percent of the American taxpayer’s income tax payment. While the two biggest expenditures are for Medicare and Medicaid, additional amounts of this percentage go toward health research, food safety, public health services and disease control.
The U.S. government spends a little more than 17 percent to provide for various programs that aid those in need, including retirement benefits for federal employees, food and nutritional assistance, and Supplemental Security Income. The Earned Income Tax Credit and the Child Tax Credit are also funded from income tax revenue.
The national debt incurs a substantial amount of interest each year. Even at current low interest rates, about 8 percent of your income tax dollars go toward paying interest costs annually.
The government cares for its military veterans and shows it by, among other things, devoting 4.5 percent of federal income tax revenue toward various benefits for former active-duty members. Income and housing support represent not quite half of the spending in this category, with health care expenditures nearly as high. The remainder goes for education, training and other benefits for former military personnel.
Education And Job Training
What’s a country without education and job training? The U.S. government spends the majority of the 3.3 percent of income tax revenue for these two programs on funding education through the high school level. College financial aid, along with employment training for those with disabilities and more general job training and employment services for the broader public, take up the remainder.
Law Enforcement And Immigration
Two percent of income tax revenue goes toward assuring the safety of American citizens, as well as the nation's immigration. These expenses help fund the nation's court system, as well as federal law enforcement agencies and the federal service that implements U.S. immigration policy.
Natural Resources, Energy And Environment
Nearly two percent of revenue from income taxes is spent on various expenses related to the natural resources of the United States. About a third of that money goes toward water and land management, with the remainder funding environmental protection initiatives, as well as management of the nation's energy assets and conservation efforts.
Money going toward international initiatives makes up about 1.7 percent of total income tax revenue. About half of that amount is spent on humanitarian and economic development assistance, while the remainder is split among the costs of maintaining embassies and diplomatic missions and providing security assistance overseas.
Science, Space And Technology
Slightly more than 1 percent of income tax revenues go toward science-related programs. It’s no surprise that half of that amount goes to NASA, but additional recipients include the National Science Foundation, as well as various national laboratories and other research facilities.
My name is Carey Vanderborg and I'm a journalist working in New York City. I love food, travel, craft beer, live music and writing about all of the above.