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How Federal Taxes Were Spent in 2010



Percentage Destination
36% Social Security, Medicare and Other Retirement
  • Income support for retired and disabled persons
  • Medical care for the elderly
24% National Defense, Veterans and Foreign Affairs
  • Equip, modernize and pay our armed forces
  • Fund national defense activities
  • Veterans benefits and services
  • Military and economic assistance to foreign countries
  • Maintenance of our embassies abroad
25% Social Programs
  • Medicaid
  • Food stamps
  • Health programs
  • Unemployment compensation
  • Assisted housing and social programs
7% Physical, Human and Community Development
  • Agricultural programs
  • Natural resources and environment programs
  • Transportation programs
  • Aid for elementary and secondary education
  • Direct assistance to college students Space, energy and general science programs
6% Net interest on the debt
  • Interest payments on the national debt
2% Law Enforcement and General Government
  • Federal law enforcement
  • Prisons
  • General costs of the federal government
  • Collection of taxes and legislative activities


Source: IRS 1040 Instructions, Tax Year 2011 (pdf)

Note: Includes social security, Medicare, unemployment, retirement, corporate and personal income taxes and money borrowed to cover the deficit.



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