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Shouldn't taxpayers get a receipt?

I haven't read through all of Third Way's deficit-reduction ideas yet, but I love the proposal (pdf) for a taxpayer receipt:

Corn syrup, milk chocolate, sugar, cocoa butter, coconut, almond, soy lecithin … any consumer can read these ingredients and their nutritional value on every package of a 75-cent Almond Joy. What is provided to a taxpayer with a $5,400 tax bill? Nothing. For many Americans, the amount they pay in taxes is larger than any purchase they make during the year, but studies show they know almost nothing about where that money goes to.

This contributes to ridiculous beliefs, like the view that 20% of government spending goes to foreign aid, for example. An electorate unschooled in basic budget facts is a major obstacle to controlling the nation’s deficit, not to mention addressing a host of economic and social problems. We suggest that everyone who files a tax return receive a “taxpayer receipt.” This receipt would tell them to the penny what their taxes paid for based on the amount they paid in federal income taxes and FICA.

And here's an example of what it would look like:

taxpayerreceipt.jpg

By Ezra Klein  | September 30, 2010; 3:35 PM ET
Categories:  Budget  
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Comments

Great idea. Could this be done by executive order?

Posted by: gmart68b | September 30, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

That receipt sure will get long once all the different interests (term used nonjudgmentally) get through it. Why list the costs of Iraq and Afghanistan jointly? How much goes to the federal judiciary system? How much to corn subsidies? How much to nuclear weapon research through the Dept of Energy? How much to the CIA? To the NSA? Will there be one of those statistical caveats at the bottom: "Numbers do not add up to the total due to dictates of a national security state"? How much to protect endangered species? How much home energy heating support? And so on...

Posted by: JonathanTE | September 30, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

Interesting. I'd love to see tax expenditures on there as well, particularly things like farm subsidies.

Posted by: guided | September 30, 2010 3:55 PM | Report abuse

"That receipt sure will get long once all the different interests (term used nonjudgmentally) get through it."

I'm not sure that is much of a problem. Send a receipt with the top twenty or so charges and put a link to a website with more in-depth lists broken down by issue area (defense, infrastructure, etc).

Posted by: y2josh_us | September 30, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

My concern with the receipt as you've presented it is that it creates the illusion that the nation as a whole is paying a lot more towards Social Security than towards the military. In actuality, they two costs are approximately equal. It's just that Social Security is paid for by a regressive tax while military spending is paid for by a progressive tax.

Posted by: rick_desper | September 30, 2010 4:06 PM | Report abuse

It is a good idea, but is this the share that is paid for or the share including the deficit?

Posted by: Hopeful9 | September 30, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Great idea! I would also like to see a line item for the money saved because of the Bush tax cuts. In this example it would be aproximately $1,200.

Posted by: cummije5 | September 30, 2010 4:12 PM | Report abuse

Why send the receipt through the mail? Why not put a calculator online, so people can key in their total taxes and see the breakdown that way?

Posted by: dkp01 | September 30, 2010 4:13 PM | Report abuse

How about even simpler which can be done right now without any Congressional or Executive Order - just give us a web site where these details are available for anyone 24X7 all the time? Anyone can enter an income figure and it will display where those taxes go? That way concerns expressed by 'rick_desper' can be addressed too with additional details.

How about 'www.wheremytaxgoes.gov' at Federal level and 'www.wheremytaxgoex.ca' at each state level?

Why not do it now? Where is the Tea Party when we need it most?

Glen Beck - can we have one more 'crying' session for this one? Rush - can you please help us because Barack listens only when Sarah or Rush flog?

Posted by: umesh409 | September 30, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Yes! Yes! Yes!

Of course, I am very uncertain that it would make any functional difference for tax payers -- we've had nutritional content like that on food for how long? And how long have people continued to buy food that they know is bad for them? And in obscene quantities? In other words, providing the information is not always enough to lead to good decision-making.

However, it really is a moral responsibility to provide people with such information in a democracy and this is a clear, easily understandable way of communicating it to them.

And with any luck, it would sink in that cutting foreign aid and the budget for the EPA, Amtrak, and public housing COMBINED will not appreciably lower their tax burden or lower the deficit/debt.

Posted by: kcar1 | September 30, 2010 4:22 PM | Report abuse

'dkp01' got before me while I waited for 'submission...' on WaPo server. Great minds think alike!

Posted by: umesh409 | September 30, 2010 4:23 PM | Report abuse

"Great idea! I would also like to see a line item for the money saved because of the Bush tax cuts. In this example it would be aproximately $1,200."

Well, the interest charges are higher because of the Bush tax cuts. Given that those tax cuts were never paid for by any corresponding decrease in spending, trying to figure out the exact impact of the tax cuts on an individual's bill would be a convoluted process. And it would certainly be open to partisan chicanery.

It's much simpler to keep track of actual costs and actual expenditures, as opposed to hypothetical costs and hypothetical expenditures.

Giving the government less money doesn't magically make things cheaper.

Posted by: rick_desper | September 30, 2010 4:24 PM | Report abuse

And yes, it would be simple as pie to code this and put it up as a web site.

Posted by: rick_desper | September 30, 2010 4:27 PM | Report abuse

Great idea, but it's depressing that funding for the arts in the sample receipt gets a measly 24 cents. I mean, you could double arts funding in this country for less than the cost of roll of breath mints.

Posted by: JJenkins2 | September 30, 2010 4:45 PM | Report abuse

@rick_desper "My concern with the receipt as you've presented it is that it creates the illusion that the nation as a whole is paying a lot more towards Social Security than towards the military. In actuality, they two costs are approximately equal. It's just that Social Security is paid for by a regressive tax while military spending is paid for by a progressive tax."

Yes, but presumably the FICA amount that was deducted at that income level equals what was shown on the receipt (leaving aside the question of whether or not the employer portion should be there as well).

The FICA stuff is what it is, and the rest of the income tax is split among the rest of the categories.

What's really missing is a section called "Bill Me Later" that shows what the deficit financed portion of the budget was. Presumably that's where the difference between total FICA expenditures and total military expenditures is made up.

I agree that this would be a huge benefit to the populace. I'd do it in paper and just attach it to the Social Security statement that is already mailed out every year.

Posted by: jnc4p | September 30, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

how about another one for my UGH property taxes.

Posted by: visionbrkr | September 30, 2010 4:55 PM | Report abuse

"Great idea, but it's depressing that funding for the arts in the sample receipt gets a measly 24 cents. I mean, you could double arts funding in this country for less than the cost of roll of breath mints."

Too funny. I look at the same bar tab and see a host of items that should read $0.00

Better idea. eliminate withholding and send this out on a monthly basis as an invoice.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | September 30, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

YES PLEASE. I love love love this idea. It keeps the politicians honest and the public informed. And it costs very little. We have hard choices to make about our budget problems, and people deserve to understand exactly how their money is spent.

Posted by: vvf2 | September 30, 2010 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Great idea; I'd want to also include a line item for 'borrowed on your behalf'; i.e. what's the difference between what we sent & what we spent?

Posted by: bsimon1 | September 30, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

jnc4p, yeah, I'd really like a receipt (bill?) showing an individual's portion of the of the debt financed budget based on their income tax bracket.

Posted by: MosBen | September 30, 2010 5:04 PM | Report abuse

"I look at the same bar tab and see a host of items that should read $0.00"

Starting with 'Interest on the federal debt.'

Posted by: bsimon1 | September 30, 2010 5:07 PM | Report abuse

"Great idea, but it's depressing that funding for the arts in the sample receipt gets a measly 24 cents. I mean, you could double arts funding in this country for less than the cost of roll of breath mints."
************************
BETTER IDEA: Zero out funding for all federal spending not mandated by the Constitution and let taxpayers voluntarily fund whatever additional programs they want to fund, like Maryland's "Save the Bay" checkoff.

Oh. Wait. That's called voluntary philanthropy. It's not enough for Liberals to fund the things they like -- they want to force EVERYONE to fund the things they like.

Posted by: pmendez | September 30, 2010 5:13 PM | Report abuse

As long as we're comparing taxes to a bill for transactions voluntarily entered into, can I pick what I fund, and the total amount?

Posted by: justin84 | September 30, 2010 5:15 PM | Report abuse

I don't get it. $31,140 per year is $5400 in taxes (FICA included)? Maybe I'm calculating wrong but, 15% tax bracket + 6.2% Social Security + 1.45% Medicare = $7300 in taxes.

Social Security by itself is $2100. Nice idea but the graphic above is a bit disingenuous.

Posted by: Windknot1 | September 30, 2010 5:17 PM | Report abuse

It would be even better if there were boxes next to each line item and we could divide up our taxes to pay for only those things we wish to.

Posted by: bgmma50 | September 30, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

"Starting with 'Interest on the federal debt."

Then maybe the anti-war candidate should end combat operations and put those funds toward retiring the debt. That cuts it to about $58.

Posted by: NoVAHockey | September 30, 2010 5:22 PM | Report abuse

Aw. justin84 beat me to it.

Posted by: bgmma50 | September 30, 2010 5:24 PM | Report abuse

The graphic is a bit more distrubing. 6.2% Social Security tax on $32,140 is about $2100. Only $1040 is being spent on Social Security? Where the h*ll is the remaining $1060 going?

I know the graphic is supposed to be representative and not reality, but the numbers in the chart are misleading.

OR

Where the hel* is the $1060 going?

Posted by: Windknot1 | September 30, 2010 5:32 PM | Report abuse

"I don't get it. $31,140 per year is $5400 in taxes (FICA included)? Maybe I'm calculating wrong but, 15% tax bracket + 6.2% Social Security + 1.45% Medicare = $7300 in taxes."

Windknot1,

Well, the first bracket is 10%, and then there is the standard deduction and personal exemption which reduces taxable income. That said, the employer half of FICA is effectively a cost to the worker in terms of lower wages, and 15.3% of $34,140 is already $5,223.42.

"Aw. justin84 beat me to it."

In all fairness bgmma50, pmendez got the better of both of us in terms of timing, though in this situation I think "the more the merrier" applies.

Posted by: justin84 | September 30, 2010 5:35 PM | Report abuse

@Windknot1: "I don't get it. $31,140 per year is $5400 in taxes (FICA included)? Maybe I'm calculating wrong but, 15% tax bracket + 6.2% Social Security + 1.45% Medicare = $7300 in taxes."

The calculation above probably figures in average deductions in that income bracket to arrive at the final tax bill.

Note also that a compelling case can be made that you should also show the employer portion of FICA as part of your tax bill, given that the employer would not pay that tax absent the employee.

Posted by: jnc4p | September 30, 2010 5:38 PM | Report abuse

"The graphic is a bit more distrubing. 6.2% Social Security tax on $32,140 is about $2100. Only $1040 is being spent on Social Security? Where the h*ll is the remaining $1060 going?

I know the graphic is supposed to be representative and not reality, but the numbers in the chart are misleading.

OR

Where the hel* is the $1060 going?"

It seems to be that rather than assuming Social Security taxes fund Social Security benefits, all of your tax dollars go into one big pot, and are distributed on a proportional basis.

Social Security is 20% or so of federal outlays, hence $1,040 out of a $5,400 tax bill.

Posted by: justin84 | September 30, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

I believe we already get this receipt in the form of a 2-pie pie chart of Revenues and Expenditures on the last few pages of the 1040 Instructions. IIRC.

Posted by: ribber | September 30, 2010 5:47 PM | Report abuse

Terrific idea. I'm not too worried about quibbling about individual line items.

Make it happen.

Posted by: krazen1211 | September 30, 2010 5:49 PM | Report abuse

Actually, now that more people are getting in direct-deposited instead of a check, this would be more unnecessary mail. Unless you convince TurboTax and H&R Block software of the validity of this and have them spit it out on the record printout.

Posted by: ribber | September 30, 2010 5:51 PM | Report abuse

Great idea. How about putting two pie charts in every 1040 booklet* -- one showing where the money comes from and one showing where it goes.

Oh that's the way it's always been (except I think they aren't mailing 1040s out next year).

People don't know because they dodge the information, not because it isn't sent to them. I hate to type this here, but it has to be on TV or it doesn't exist.

*here I am showing my age

Posted by: rjw88 | September 30, 2010 6:38 PM | Report abuse

@jnc4p, there is an equally good argument to make that it shouldn't because your employer would also not likely pay you the difference if there were no employer-paid FICA. It is the cost of doing business and if it were removed, their cost of business would go down instead of your wages going up. In other words, it isn't your tax, it is their's and including it on your receipt is double counting the tax.

Posted by: kcar1 | September 30, 2010 7:20 PM | Report abuse

That would be so awesome!!!

Posted by: zperez | September 30, 2010 7:37 PM | Report abuse

Uhh.... this idea was totally stolen from Democracy: A Journal of Ideas. Get on your game, Post. http://www.democracyjournal.org/article.php?ID=6747

Posted by: ddieringer | September 30, 2010 8:08 PM | Report abuse

I read this in Democracy a while ago.

Posted by: gman0032 | September 30, 2010 8:36 PM | Report abuse

I really, really want local, county, state and federal tax receipts available to all.

Last year when I spoke with a staff member at Senator Bayh's Fort Wayne office, I attempted to explain the need for taxpayers to have itemized information similar to that shown above. It seems like most people are clueless as to how much they personally receive back compared to what they pay in, if anything.

For example, over half of our state budget is for education, yet many parents with children attending public schools do not know much it costs per student. One parent told me it was too expensive to send their elementary school child to the $3K a year private school. I asked her what she thought of the cost of her child's $10.5K a year public school. She didn't say much but it was obvious she did not know much it cost for 1-year of public school educaton in her district. Another couple, that I guesstimate to not earn over $70K annually, have 4 kids in public school (total cost over $42K annually) and make negative comments about the "redistribution of the wealth" while they accept many of the benefits from it. (Why wouldn't it be possible to have a state-level receipt to show the taxpayer's the cost of the benefits they receive? Such as, if you have 1 child attending public school in your school district the cost is $10.5K a year.)

We should be reminded once a year as to much we contribute and how much we benefit from the local/county/state/fed taxes. Of course, not all of the benefits can be quantified.

Posted by: Hoosier3 | September 30, 2010 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Great idea, but I don't like the way the various military expenditures are broken up. To the untrained eye it makes Pentagon spending appear a lot smaller than it is.
How about a simple line item called "Military" with an accompanying, consolidated figure. People need to know we're spending a vast portion of our national treasure each year fighting wars, or preparing to fight wars.

Posted by: Jasper999 | September 30, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

@kcar1: "@jnc4p, there is an equally good argument to make that it shouldn't because your employer would also not likely pay you the difference if there were no employer-paid FICA. It is the cost of doing business and if it were removed, their cost of business would go down instead of your wages going up. In other words, it isn't your tax, it is their's and including it on your receipt is double counting the tax."

I disagree. It's part of the total cost of the employee (along with their health insurance, etc). But for the employee's wages being paid, this money would not be paid to the government. Every business that I have been involved in looks at this as part of the total employee cost (i.e. cash out every month) when they are making a hiring decision.

The most transparent thing to do would be to list both portions separately on the bill.

Posted by: jnc4p | September 30, 2010 9:45 PM | Report abuse

To take this to it's logical conclusion, you would eliminate withholding and send everyone a bill for "government services" every month, just like rent, utilities, etc.

I disagree with the premise from the cited article:

"An educated consumer is a progressive’s best customer.
With apologies to Syms clothing, progressives might have a better chance of
winning greater funding levels for programs that invest in children, education,
energy, environment, transportation, innovation, foreign aid, humanitarian assistance,
and housing if taxpaying citizens had a better idea of how their money
is spent. Most of these items represent a pittance of government spending as
compared to other items in the budget.
At the same time, Americans might encourage Congress to be more fiscally
responsible if they saw how much of their actual taxes went for things like interest
on the national debt."

http://content.thirdway.org/publications/335/Third_Way_Idea_Brief_-_A_Taxpayer_Receipt.pdf

There is a (growing) difference between "taxpayers" and people receiving government benefits. The best example is Obama's promise not to raise taxes on married people making less than $250k per year. Many of the progressive proposals being floated are based on only other people (i.e. "the rich") having to pay more. If everyone's taxes were going to go up to finance these programs, they would be a lot less likely to pass.

Posted by: jnc4p | September 30, 2010 10:01 PM | Report abuse

Hey all, I built a website based on the third way's numbers to easily calculate how much your own receipt is based on your taxes - http://www.incometaxreceipt.com

Posted by: dkasper | October 1, 2010 1:17 AM | Report abuse

Great idea. Keep in mind that someting like 1/2 of all taxpayers pay only payroll taxes and no income tax. How much individuals are paying for various goverment programs varies greatly with income.

Posted by: d_thornberg | October 1, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

Marylanders can get their tax receipt, which includes all forms of taxation at all levels of government down to the county level, by going here: http://www.mdpolicy.org/research/page/tax-estimator-welcome

Posted by: tfirey | October 1, 2010 9:28 AM | Report abuse

@jnc4p "It's part of the total cost of the employee."

Exactly, and listing the employer contribution at least as a regular line item would unavoidably communicate the tax payer that he/she is paying that tax -- absent FICA, they after tax income would higher not only by the amount he/she pays but also by the amount the employer pays. This would almost never be the case, the employer would keep the money otherwise paid to FICA rather than pass on the savings to you in your wages. It is a tax on business rather than a tax on individuals, we just happen to have an individual tax that goes by the same name.

Whether my employer provides me detailed line-item costs of my employment (wages, FICA, health insurance, supplies, electricity, etc.) is another question, but I shouldn't get a receipt for something I did pay.

Posted by: kcar1 | October 1, 2010 9:34 AM | Report abuse

@kcar1 "Exactly, and listing the employer contribution at least as a regular line item would unavoidably communicate the tax payer that he/she is paying that tax -- absent FICA, they after tax income would higher not only by the amount he/she pays but also by the amount the employer pays. This would almost never be the case, the employer would keep the money otherwise paid to FICA rather than pass on the savings to you in your wages. It is a tax on business rather than a tax on individuals, we just happen to have an individual tax that goes by the same name.

Whether my employer provides me detailed line-item costs of my employment (wages, FICA, health insurance, supplies, electricity, etc.) is another question, but I shouldn't get a receipt for something I did pay."

By that logic, all the taxes that are withheld fall into that category. Most individuals don't "pay" their portion of FICA or income tax in the sense of writing a check to the government or having it automatically withdrawn from their checking accounts.

It's withheld by their employer and either remitted by the employer directly (for those that do their own payroll) or by a payroll company. For FICA, 1/2 is shown on the pay stub, 1/2 isn't, but both parts are paid by the employer to the government.

Posted by: jnc4p | October 1, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Bah. The cited article lost all credibility with me when it lumped Social Security in with Medicare and Medicaid as things that need to be "touched" in order to reduce the deficit. Plus, they split up military spending, which makes it appear smaller. At the very least, those lines could have been grouped together. This isn't a bad idea but the devil will be in the details as several commenters have mentioned. Trusting those details to Third Way is folly.

Posted by: eRobin1 | October 1, 2010 11:00 AM | Report abuse

Anybody know why the National Parks are listed at over 2x as much as NASA? 7x as much as the FBI? Wikipedia has NPS budget at under $3b and NASA at $17.6b. What am I missing?

Posted by: matt_sav00 | October 1, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I like the concept, but I think this graphic a bit misleading.

The footnote "(Selected Items)" doesn't make clear that rather more than $2000 of the hypothetical $5400 isn't accounted for in the graphic, giving an inaccurate impression of relative proportions.

While Social Security _is_ the biggest single component of the budget, with the current political pressure on the program it would be nice to make it clear that SS is something like 20% of spending rather than the 30-some percent it seems to represent here. Include the remainder as "Other programs" or something.

Also, as pointed out by other commenters, it also treats SS as if it were being paid out of the general fund rather than from a separate savings fund taxed and maintained for the purpose. When the trust fund runs out of surplus in 25 years or so I doubt that Third Way, the author of the graphic, will be advocating that we make up the shortfall out of the general fund.

Posted by: johnintucs | October 1, 2010 12:51 PM | Report abuse

And... if you don't like the fact that only $28.09 went to the NASA Space Program, provide a method to donate more to it... tax-deductible, of course.

Posted by: sdaviss | October 1, 2010 1:32 PM | Report abuse

What happens when somebody adds up all the "receipts" and the total is about a third of all government outlays?

I have an idea...

Why don't we add the "hidden costs" of government? Might look a little like this:

Higher prices paid due to corporate taxes: $5,000
Lost wages due to employer matched FICA: $2,500
Higher prices paid due to regulatory compliance costs: $2,000
Social Security: $1,040
Medicare: $625
Medicaid: $385
etc.
etc.

And last but not least...

Your share of the national debt: $45,000

Posted by: kpres | October 1, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

What happens when somebody adds up all the "receipts" and the total is about a third of all government outlays?

I have an idea...

Why don't we add the "hidden costs" of government? Might look a little like this:

Higher prices paid due to corporate taxes: $5,000
Lost wages due to employer matched FICA: $2,500
Higher prices paid due to regulatory compliance costs: $2,000
Social Security: $1,040
Medicare: $625
Medicaid: $385
etc.
etc.

And last but not least...

Your share of the national debt: $45,000


Posted by: kpres | October 1, 2010 1:56 PM | Report abuse

National Priorities Project provides similar information as part of its annual "Tax Day" analysis. NPP also allows individuals to figure out their personal share of funding for a broad range of federal programs based on each person's income tax return. Check out http://www.nationalpriorities.org/taxday2010

Posted by: chellman | October 1, 2010 3:05 PM | Report abuse

No way we spend more on the military than educatin' our kids! Bunch of librul lies. Not in the GREATEST COUNTRY ON EARTH! /end snark

Posted by: citizen4truth | October 1, 2010 3:32 PM | Report abuse

Ezra,

I like Third Way's idea, but I disagree with including FICA taxes and expenditures. Those are already a separate item on everyone's pay stubs. The idea that Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid are separate line items in a "lockbox" is about as deeply ingrained in the public consciousness as any budgetary concept can possibly be.

Posted by: tomveiltomveil | October 1, 2010 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Great idea.

I second the concern that lumping Social Security in with the other expenses somewhat distorts how your taxes are really distributed. It does make a kind of sense - they're deducted from payroll at the same time, and it's all "tax" in the end - but they are technically distinct.

There is another issue with the selection of line items. Many of these listed items are highly visible programs that get a lot of public attention (NASA, FBI) and complaints (EPA, arts funding), but this is not how the federal government handles its budget. In many cases these are individual sub-agences or minor programs of larger federal departments that are not listed on this table - so there is distinctly an agenda at work in picking these items and not others to break out.

Finally: the chart only sums to about $3,200 - 60% of the total tax burden given! It's not really a breakdown of "where your taxes go". As noted above, it's a list of your tax contributions to certain chosen, prominent expenses - but in no way really a "receipt".

I think the project would be very valuable, but it should be comprehensive and more even-handed.

Posted by: KevinTKeith | October 1, 2010 4:40 PM | Report abuse

I would have thought the Department of Homeland Security would be a major expense item as well.

Posted by: blucht | October 1, 2010 8:04 PM | Report abuse

"As long as we're comparing taxes to a bill for transactions voluntarily entered into, can I pick what I fund, and the total amount?" - justin84

Only if you're willing to either scrap or massively slash Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and the military, and pretty much everything else on that list. Who's going to voluntarily pay $600 each year for Medicare when they don't even use it, and they know other people won't pony up the same amount? Nearly 60% of Americans oppose the war in Afghanistan, so you'd be guaranteed to lose 60% of the war funding under your idea, probably a lot more as the other 40% might not put in the full $200+. I find it amazing that even libertarians could consider this a good idea. If you want to scrap Medicare and cut taxes proportionately then fine, but if you just make those taxes voluntary they simply won't get paid. Recipe for bankruptcy and chaos.

Posted by: bigmandave | October 2, 2010 12:10 PM | Report abuse

On the surface, it sounds nice but if you think it through, it's not that great of an idea. First, I don't think she realizes how long that list would be. The US Budget is available for download. It's many many pages but the breakdown like in the pic is a 7MB PDF that's 192 pages. So you're supposed to summarize all that down to that pic?

Those line items and amounts are different for everyone, so consider the system infrastructure for that. Let's spend more money that don't add much value!

How much paper and postage do you want to spend? So we make it available online - then there's Internet access issues (not everyone has it), on-line account, privacy, hacking, etc. More money spent and little value added!

Maybe a chicken-and-egg thing, with the low voter turnout, do you think they'd care? But then if they knew, they'd care and vote.

And then there's the abysmal sub70% high school grad rate, lower college etc. So you think they'd understand what those expenses are, where they're going and why? We're a republic, i.e. representative government, for a reason.

Posted by: first2summit | October 3, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

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