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How Your Tax Dollars Are Spent

In the movie Stranger Than Fiction, Ana Pascal (Maggie Gyllenhaal) paid only 78% of the income taxes she owed. During an audit, she tells off IRS Agent Harold Crick (Will Ferrell): "Listen, I'm a big supporter of fixing potholes and erecting swingsets and building shelters. I am more than happy to pay those taxes. I'm just not such a big fan of the percentage the government uses for national defense, corporate bailouts, and campaign discretionary funds. So I didn't pay those taxes." So how does the federal government actually spend your income tax dollars?


How Much of the Federal Debt Do You Really Owe?

It has become fashionable to show US debt in per capita terms by reporting how much of it is owed by every man, woman, and child. You can go cross-eyed viewing all the variations at this debt clock. Visual Capitalist has a great infographic showing per capita debt for each country around the globe (check it out below). While I do think it’s useful to quantify the debt in bite-size chunks like that so we can actually get our minds around it, it can be misleading and create unwarranted fear that you’re somehow on the hook. You technically don’t owe any of the US public debt.

Economy Tax