Military Spending Gets Forty Per Cent of Every Income Tax Dollar

April 12, 2007 by  


Courtesy Pamela Schwartz, Communications Director, National Priorities Project

Northampton, MA — As taxpayers prepare to meet this year’s April 16th tax deadline, they may want to consider that almost 40 cents of every tax dollar is spent on past and present military spending, according to a newly released publication by the National Priorities Project (NPP), a non-profit research organization that examines the local impact of federal spending policies.

In Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?, NPP offers breakdowns of how the federal government spends the median household’s tax payment in each state and over 200 cities.

In 2006, according to the National Priorities Project, current military spending accounted for 27 cents of every income tax dollar paid. Additionally, NPP determined that nine cents of every federal income tax dollar paid today could be attributed to borrowing to pay for past wars and military build-ups. Finally, disability payments, health care and other benefits accrued to veterans made up a little over three cents of the federal income tax dollar, bringing total military spending up to close to 40 cents of every tax dollar.

“To look at how the federal government spends our taxes allows us to stare at our federal spending priorities,” said Greg Speeter, executive director of the National Priorities Project. “Right now, military spending crushes everything else, and we’re not even close to the final price tag on the Iraq War that has already cost us half a trillion dollars.”

National Priorities Project is also the leading source for the cost of the Iraq War, offering breakdowns of the cost by state and congressional district.

NPP’s latest tax day publication shows that spending on preventive security measures, such as diplomacy, economic development assistance and locking down nuclear materials, amounted to three-quarters of a penny. Investing in renewable energy and conservation received hundredths of a penny of the federal income tax dollar. Domestic needs such as affordable housing and nutrition claimed two and three cents, respectively. Meanwhile, beyond military spending, the next two largest areas of spending occurred in health at 21 cents of every tax dollar and interest on the debt at 19 cents.

National Priorities Project (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent. Located in Northampton, MA, since 1983, NPP focuses on the impact of federal spending and other policies at the national, state, congressional district and local levels.

For more information, go to www.nationalpriorities.org.

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