For Immediate Release

Organization Profile: 

Christopher Hellman,
Director of Research
Jo Comerford, Executive Director
413.559.1649 (cell)

National Priorities Project Breaks Down Federal Income Tax Dollars to the Penny

In 2011, how much did you pay for the U.S. Postal Service, nuclear weapons and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting?

Northampton, MA - Ahead of the April 17 IRS filing deadline, National Priorities Project (NPP) announces the release of Tax Day 2012 with the numbers on how federal income taxes were spent in fiscal year 2011 -- down to the penny.

Twenty-seven cents of every federal income tax dollar went to the military; 21.4 cents went to Medicare and other health programs; 14.5 cents paid for interest on the federal debt; and 12.2 cents funded Social Security, income security, and other labor programs.  See the full breakdown here.

And for the first time, National Priorities Project will provide a Tax Receipt. Individuals can enter the amount of federal income taxes they paid in 2011, and find out exactly how much money they contributed to space flight research, disaster relief, food stamps, and more. NPP found, for example, an individual earning $50,000 and paying approximately $6,000 in federal income taxes in 2011 contributed 64 cents toward high speed rail and $21.93 to rehabilitate and train veterans.

"Individuals are our nation's major bill payers, responsible for 86 percent of all federal revenue in fiscal 2011," notes NPP senior research analyst Mattea Kramer. "That includes our income taxes, as well as payroll taxes, estate and gift taxes, and excise taxes on goods like gasoline."

More on the President's Budget

NPP continues its analysis of President Obama's proposed fiscal 2013 budget, with the release of state-level tables showing proposed federal spending in every state by major program, including Medicaid, WIC, the National School Lunch Program, and others. The tables highlight projected changes to funding in fiscal 2013 relative to 2012. See the tables here.

NPP also has new materials on federal spending for health care, the military, and education.

Quick Comparison of Budgets from President Obama, Paul Ryan, and the CPC

Last week National Priorities Project issued  Competing Visions, a side-by-side analysis of the president's budget, the House budget resolution released by Rep. Paul Ryan, and the budget proposed by the Congressional Progressive Caucus. See the differences here.


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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

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