The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release

Jo Comerford, Executive Director
413.584.9556 (o); 413.559.1649 (c)

Your 2008 Tax Dollar: 37 Cents to Military; 2.8 Cents to Environment and Energy

The United States Can Do Better! It's Time to “Close the Spigot” of Defense Spending.


taxes come due on April 15, taxpayers can take stock of how the federal
government spent each 2008 income tax dollar: 37.3 cents went towards
military-related spending, while environment, energy and
science-related projects split 2.8 cents, according to a new analysis
released by National Priorities Project (NPP).

In its annual release, Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?,
NPP offers a breakdown of how the federal government spent the median
income family's 2008 tax payments in each state and 200 cities.

to National Priorities Project, 37.3 cents for military-related
spending breaks down as follows: 29.4 cents for current military and
war spending coupled with 7.9 cents for military-related debt. At 3.8
cents of each dollar, veterans' benefits receive similar proportions of
a federal tax dollar as housing and community programs and food-related

first page of our tax publication offers a look at Bush-era spending.
The second page - focused on the environment, energy and science -
looks forward to promising Obama administration shifts," notes Jo
Comerford, Executive Director of National Priorities Project. "Funding
for the environment, energy and science decreased relative to budget
spending as a whole during the Bush presidency, while President Obama's
February overview of his first budget indicates these priorities are
likely to change."

continues, "Secretary Gates has begun ringing in 'the new day for
defense spending' heralded by President Obama by cutting Cold War
weapons systems, putting others on hold for further review and
promising greater budget oversight. Yet, the total U.S. military budget
continues to exceed $600 billion annually, making it imperative that we
take a closer look at Pentagon spending in the months ahead -
especially now as Congress and the Obama administration begin preparing
for the Quadrennial Defense Review."

Priorities Project is the leading source for the cost of the Iraq War,
offering breakdowns of the cost by state, city and congressional
district. Spring 2009 releases include a calculation of war costs for
Afghanistan and Iraq and associated trade-offs based on analyses of the
$75.5 billion FY2009 war supplemental and the $130 billion allocated
for the Iraq and Afghanistan wars allocated in the FY2010 defense
budget. Visit for more information.

The National Priorities Project (NPP) is a 501(c)(3) research organization that analyzes and clarifies federal data so that people can understand and influence how their tax dollars are spent. Located in Northampton, MA, since 1983, NPP focuses on the impact of federal spending and other policies at the national, state, congressional district and local levels. For more information, go to