Your Tax Dollars: Where They Go

There are a lot of rumors about where your tax dollars go. You pay taxes on nearly everything, and there are a lot of government-funded programs, so that’s where they’re going, right?

Mostly! But it’s not as bad as you think.

For one thing, the government funding for Planned Parenthood does NOT go to abortions, nor has it ever done so. Planned Parenthood provides information and resources about birth control, STIs, sexuality, sexual orientations, gender, body image, cancer, and much more. I promise they’re not killing babies with your money. Your money also goes to Social Security and healthcare.

A portion of your taxes also go to military spending. Troop salaries and new equipment and everything else in between come from your taxes. A small portion goes to the Treasury Department, which is trying to pay on the national debt. We also send small amounts toward international aid. Nice, huh?

Beyond that, your taxes go to the departments of Veterans Affairs, Agriculture, Personnel Management, Transportation, Labor, Civil Defense, Homeland Security (yes, this is different from the military spending money), Education, Housing and Urban Development, Energy, Justice, Sate, Commerce, and Interior.

The National Science Foundation and NASA get very small portions of your taxes. Would you really miss $5.50 if it meant keeping the space program?

It’s not just your income taxes that these dollar signs are coming from. Corporations, Social Security, excises, unemployment insurance, and other taxes are the other sources.

Many wonderful things are up on the chopping block. This includes the Corporation of Public Broadcasting, which is what provides us with PBS and other great programs, including ones that help veterans. Your tax payment for PBS every year is a whopping $1.37.

We are also in danger of losing the National Endowment for the Arts, which costs you only 46 cents every year. Without the NEA, we lose access to a ton of programs that aid artists. The National Endowment for the Humanities funds museums, colleges, libraries, and professors who display their arts and studies for the public. It also only takes 46 cents per year. Our country is highly focused on the arts as entertainment—from television to museums and films to public sculptures—so the things that make our country beautiful are in danger.

Next up is the Minority Business Development Agency. It costs you only 11 cents per year. It helps minority-owned businesses get the money and visibility they need to grow and thrive. The Economic Development Administration helps communities with crumbling infrastructure. They give grants to places like the Pacific Northwest Diabetes Institute for new equipment. This grant in particular created 184 jobs. The EDA only takes 66 cents from you every year.

Other federal agencies in danger include the International Trade Administration, Manufacturing Extension Partnership, Office of Community-Oriented Policing Services, Office of Violence Against Women (which only costs $1.48/year), Legal Services Corporation, Civil Rights Division of the Justice Department, Environment and Natural Resources Division of the Justice Department, Overseas Private Investment Corporation, UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Office of Electricity Deliverability and Energy Reliability, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, and Office of Fossil Energy.

If you want to make America great again, then make sure you know where your tax dollars are going and why. Aim to support the departments and offices that keep our country safe and beautiful. Contact your local Congress representatives, get in touch with the White House, and start petitions as soon as you can.