WASHINGTON - April 6 - The military's share of the income tax dollar has risen by 20 percent since 2000, while the share of spending has dropped for job training (-21 percent), environment (-19 percent), housing (-7 percent) and veterans' benefits (-2 percent), according to the National Priorities Project (NPP), a non-partisan, non-profit research group.
The National Priorities Project breaks down how the federal government allocated the median income family's 2005 tax payment for each state and 200 towns, cities and counties in its publication released today, Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go? at www.nationalpriorities.org/taxday.
More than two-thirds of every income tax dollar in 2005 goes to military, health and interest on the debt, according to NPP. Since 2000, military spending's share of the income tax dollar has risen from 24 cents to 29 cents. This rise is a consequence of the nearly 70 percent increase in military outlays.
At the same time, health spending's share of the tax dollar has risen from 17 cents to 20 cents. The other significant jump lies in education spending at 50 percent. This increase is primarily due to the No Child Left Behind Act, which remains significantly underfunded. In 2000, education accounted for less than three cents of each tax dollar, and the increase in share translates to four cents of every tax dollar in 2005.
The largest drop in share occurred in interest payments, down 30 percent since 2000. This decline results from a combination of low interest rates and overall growth in spending, even though the debt has increased. Job training, with a share that is 21 percent less than in 2000, is the second largest drop.
"The shift in how our tax dollars have been spent over the last five years captures the consequences of our current priorities," said Greg Speeter, executive director of the National Priorities Project. "When military spending takes a 20 percent greater share of our tax dollar while job training, housing and veterans' benefits take less, we are faced with stark examples of the neglect taking place here at home."
Breakdowns by state and city on the federal government's spending of 2005 taxes is available at www.nationalpriorities.org/taxday. Updated cost of war information for each state is available at www.nationalpriorities.org/iraqwarcost. And state-level breakdowns on the impact of the President's proposed FY07 budget are available at www.nationalpriorities.org/budget07.
The National Priorities Project creates reliable estimates using data culled from various sources primarily the federal government. Detailed explanations of methodologies and sources for Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go? can be found at www.nationalpriorities.org/taxday06sources.