Tracking Our Taxes: Ritholtz Chart

Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg View columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He blogs at the Big Picture and is the author of “Bailout Nation: How Greed and Easy Money Corrupted Wall Street and Shook the World Economy.”
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As it's Tax Day, let's look at where our tax dollars come from and where they go.

The first chart shows the sources of federal revenue. The biggest source is individual income taxes, accounting for 46 percent of the total. Payroll taxes, split between the employer and employee, account for another 31.7 percent. Corporate taxes are a mere 13.5 percent and assorted customs duties, excise taxes and miscellaneous sources make up a few percent.

What we spend those trillions on can be seen in the chart below: 33.6 percent goes to Social Security and unemployment benefits. Medicare and health-related spending account for 26.6 percent. Next up are military spending and veterans' benefits, which capture a huge amount: 20.4 percent.

The last 20 percent or so goes to lots of smaller expenditures. Paying interest on our debt grabs 6.3 percent. The items rounding out federal spending are: food and agriculture (3.3 percent), transportation (2.6 percent), housing (2.6 percent), education (2.0 percent), energy (1.1 percent) and science (0.7 percent).

This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg View's editorial board or Bloomberg LP, its owners and investors.

(Barry Ritholtz writes about finance, the economy and the business world for Bloomberg View. Follow him on Twitter @Ritholtz.)

To contact the author on this story:
Barry L Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.net