White House Web page shows you where your tax dollars go

An online 2011 Federal Taxpayer Receipt calculates how and where the government spends our money based on the amount of tax we end up paying.

Screenshot by Lance Whitney/CNET

Wondering what Uncle Sam does with your hard-earned tax dollars? The White House's Taxpayer Receipt page has been updated for 2011 to help answer that question.

To get started you'll need to enter the social security tax, medicare tax, and income tax that you paid for 2011. If that information isn't handy, you can estimate by choosing from a range of households and incomes, such as single with no children, married with one child, or married with two children.

In return, the site displays how much you doled out in tax dollars to the Fed for last year, highlighing the specific amounts for social security, medicare, and income taxes. Drilling down to the income tax you paid, you can also see where it all goes to keep the country running.

Out of your income tax payments, the largest chunk goes toward national defense at 25 percent, followed by healthcare at 23 percent, job and family security at 19 percent, and education and job training at less than 4 percent.

You can delve even deeper by clicking on a specific category.

In the job and family security area, for instance, 2.3 percent of overall tax dollars go to unemployment insurance, 3.7 percent to food and nutrition assistance, and 2 percent toward housing assistance. From veterans' benefits, 2.1 percent is devoted toward income and housing support and 1.8 percent toward healthcare.

The specific dollar amounts that you paid are listed next to each item.

Of course, this is Washington, so the site isn't free from the usual political jabs.

A link at the bottom invites you to find out how many millionaires paid a lower tax rate than you did.

The site also takes the opportunity to tout the Buffett Rule, proposed legislation that would ensure a certain minimum tax rate on households making more than $1 million each year. The Buffett Rule legislation was blocked by Senate Republicans on Monday.

 

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