Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?

Tyler Durden's picture

Presented with little comment, but in around three minutes, this clip provides a modicum of clarity on just where all that money goes...

It seems 47% is the new number to really care about - perhaps 53% should also be of note...


(h/t Al Jazeera)

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krispkritter's picture

War is a Racket... S. Butler

Precious's picture

-> Doctor competency UK example

-> Doctor (in)compentency in US example 1 and US example 2

Part of your tax dollars pay for this unnecessary and incompetent US medical care.  Everything the US doctors did costs more, with worse results.

The UK doctor performed the same thing using 20 tongue depressors at 2 cents each.



LetThemEatRand's picture

Do you hereby affirm that government OMB statistics are accurate and not propaganda?

economics9698's picture

Not really but they are US government employees.   I remember these mother fuckers from 1979.

GetZeeGold's picture




Scared us so bad.....we're gonna give them $450 million.


Do you suppose they'll go away now?

Thomas's picture

Kudos to the guys who made the video--very clever.

SoCalBusted's picture

Well, it was going to be $900 million, but we cut it in half to teach them a lession, this time.


crazyjsmith's picture

You have pointed out the foundation of the house. What about the flooring, the granite counter tops, the window coverings, the appliances, the frame, etc?
Yep, 18.8% is sure a good place to start.

FEDbuster's picture

I thought Air America was bankrupt, is this Air Soros?  I do agree we spend to much on killing people around the world, but something has to back the dollar's reserve currency status.

GetZeeGold's picture



Dude....Air America is the CIA. Those cats never go BK.


blunderdog's picture

You should watch the video.  It's only a few minutes. 

There's no claim that the DoD budget is 53% of Federal outlays.

The thing is, the DoD is only a small part of total "military" spending.

Breaker's picture

I suppose if you count Medicare and Medicaid as military spending, you would come close to 53%.

blunderdog's picture

They used the other approach, actually: they didn't count FICA as "taxes."  It's all about context.  The final number may be misleading, but it's technically far closer to correct than this joker's reply of "18.8%."

The guy GIVES YOU THE NUMBERS.  You can decide what *percentage* you want to claim at the end of the day, but for damn sure, pretending the DoD is the only budget entry for "military spending" is either a lie or a grossly ignorant speaker.

The cost of the first 6 years in Iraq wasn't in the DoD budget.  According to econ-boy up there, that'd mean it wasn't military spending.

Derp derp.

Heyoka Bianco's picture

Frankly, at this point, a big ol' buttload of pharmaceuticals wouldn't be something I'd turn down.


Does insurance cover idiotectomies? I need about 35,000 of those totally necessary procedures to get all the idiots out of my life.

A Nanny Moose's picture

There is no known medical cure for chronic cranius-rectumitis.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Yes, war is simply organized crime on a grander scale, and there is no way to prevent that. Militarism is the supreme ideology, because it does not allow anyone else to refuse to participate: either get with that program, and become militaristic too, or be conquered and assimilated instead. We are living inside of the systems established by the long history of war. Our money system is backed by murder. It does NOT matter if you do not like that, or wish that it was not true, or indulge in impossible ideals about how it might not be the case, IT IS!

That is particularly bad now that warfare has developed weapons that are trillions of times more powerful. War is now an utterly insane racket, run by organized criminals that are demented mad men ... War was ALWAYS a racket, for thousands of years, but it did not become an utterly insane racket until very recently, within the life time of those still now alive! BUT, we still can not do anything else, and still do not have any way out of that runaway insanity!!!  The old-fashioned imperative of slavery, "do what I say, or I will kill you" has become the postmodern runaway slavery system, "do what I say, or I will kill almost everyone." War was always an obligatory racket. However, every day, more and more, the whole world is becoming an increasingly insane place, where the most criminally insane people are controlling what is happening, through bigger lies, backed by more violence!

I like to try to tack as close to the wind as possible in my approarch to this, and day dream about how it might be theoretically possilbe to do systematic death contols BETTER, which requires radically rethinking militarism, to adapt it to weapons of mass destruction. That would make it theoretically possible to do different death controls, in a radically revolutionized militarism, or murder system, to operate better debt controls, in a radically different money system. After all, warfare is the oldest and best developed of social sciences, and it needs more profound paradigm shifts than any other science ever did!

BUT, that seems just goofy Fringe Cubed Fantasies, in the real world of runaway triumphant banksters, who have become a group of trillionaire mass murders, attempting to consolidate their global power through another world war, regardless of the risks of weapons of mass destruction use going OUT OF CONTROL.

Sam Clemons's picture

The powers that be have become too good at ripping people off in order to fund being way too good at killing people off.

crazyjsmith's picture

Power vs. Force
The truth is Power and needs no justification - the war machine is constantly justifying the use of force - and necessity is the tool of tyrants.

If China were to attack our shores, no justification would be needed to fight.
No silly cartoonish drawings would be needed to "justify".

If constant justification is the tool, then the first casualty is the truth as they say.

mtomato2's picture

Even if I disagreed with you, I would have to say that your writing is impeccable.

Radical Marijuana's picture

Thanks! ... I belatedly noticed some spelling errors. My automatic spell checker does not seem to work inside of Zero Hedge posting windows. There also appears to be an automatic function that allows editing, until after someone posts a comment, or some time passes, then no more editing is possible.

I just WISH that there WAS something better we could actually to, but watch and wait while it gets WORSE. Since The Powers That Be deliberately ignore anything they do not like, therefore, rational arguments based on evidence and logic end up being almost totally useless. The impossible paradox is that there is NO WAY to sanely use any old-fashioned physical violence to "fight" against atomic weapons, but the people with atomic weapons continue threatening to be even more violent, to back up their lies!  We are all stuck inside of that insanity! Attempts at any saner arguments based on evidence and logic just get IGNORED, while responding with more violence to the established systems could only make things get WORSE FASTER!

I can not think of anything practical or realistic to do.

macholatte's picture

Thank you Al Jezerra.  Everybody's got an agenda.

Ray1968's picture

Agenda? Yes. Truth... probably.


GetZeeGold's picture



We come in peas.....and if you don't like that....we'll kill you.


Came to ZH for a barfight.....and found one. Thanks Tyler!


max2205's picture

UN taxes. Give me a fucking break

EXCLUSIVE: As the UN opens its General Assembly session, it is already thinking up new global taxes | Fox News

UPDATED: See editor's note at bottom

A 1 percent tax on billionaires around the world.  A tax on all currency trading in the U.S. dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and the British pound sterling.   Another  “tiny”  tax on all financial transactions, including stock and bond trading, and trading in financial derivatives.  New taxes on carbon emissions and on airline tickets.  A royalty on all undersea mineral resources extracted more than 100 miles offshore of any nation’s territory.

The United Nations is at it again:  finding new and “innovative” ways to create global taxes that would transfer hundreds of billions, and even trillions, of dollars from the rich nations of the world — especially the U.S. — to poorer ones, in line with U.N.-directed economic, social and environmental development.

These latest global tax proposals have received various forms of endorsement at U.N. meetings over the spring and summer, and will be entered into the record during the 67th  U.N. General Assembly session, which began this week. The agenda for the entire session, lasting through December, is scheduled to be finalized on Friday.

How to convince developed countries wracked by economic recession and spiraling levels of government debt – especially the U.S. — is another issue, which the world organization may well end up trying to finesse. 

As the U.N. itself notes, in a major report on the taxation topic titled, “In Search of New Development Finance” -- the main topic at a high-level international meeting of the U.N.’s Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) this summer -- “These proposals are subject to political controversy. For instance, many countries are not willing to support international forms of taxation, as these are said to undermine national sovereignty.”

The world organization, and its constellation of funds, agencies and programs, has been pushing “innovative financing” for nearly a decade.

The U.N. clearly hopes it can find a way to move ahead. “ Politically, tapping revenue from global resources and raising taxes internationally to address global problems are much more difficult than taxing for purely domestic purposes,” admits an ECOSOC document produced last April. But, it summarizes,  “the time has come to confront the challenge.”

Shortly thereafter, the tax proposals — known in U.N.-speak as “innovative methods of financing”-- got a limited endorsement from a group of government ministers and other heads of national delegations who attended a major ECOSOC meeting in New York City in July.

The global taxation idea was echoed this week by Jeffrey Sachs, head of Columbia University’s Earth Institute and also a U.N. Assistant Secretary General. Sachs was recently named by U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon to head a new intellectual lobbying group of experts called the Sustainable Development Solutions Network.  It “will work closely with United Nations agencies, multilateral financing institutions and other international organizations,” according to the Earth Institute website.

On Monday, the controversial economist, a vociferous supporter of the Occupy Wall Street movement, called on President Obama to implement a carbon tax that in turn could be used to finance bonds, paying for investments to combat “climate change” -- one of the major focuses of the new solutions network.

Sachs was quoted by Bloomberg News as declaring that, “I’m happy to have the future pay for a lot of this. It doesn’t have to be current financed.”

In the midst of a heated U.S. national election campaign, any official endorsement of those views is unlikely.

Nonetheless, the U.N. is taking a longer view. The world organization, and its constellation of funds, agencies and programs, has been pushing “innovative financing” for nearly a decade, since the topic was discussed in depth at an international conference in 2002.  The topic was endorsed again at the failed Rio + 20 conference last summer, without much detail attached.

But the need for new revenue is becoming more urgent as the world’s rich countries, gripped in recession, no longer hand out foreign aid with the same generosity as before — though the total reached $133 billion annually last year--while the demands for huge additional amounts of money for social and climate issues continues to grow.

Earlier this year, for example, the overseers of a new, U.N.-sponsored  Green Climate Fund held their first meeting in Bonn to contemplate the spending of some $30 billion annually — rising to $100 billion by 2020 — to meet climate change needs in developing countries.  Where all that money will come from is still not clear.

The U.N.’s latest roster of tax possibilities certainly has what the New Development Finance Report calls “large fundraising potential.” Or, at least some of them do. An around-the-world tax of $25 per ton on carbon dioxide emissions in rich countries, the report says, could raise some $250 billion a year. That new billionaire’s tax would raise anywhere from $40 billion to $50 billion per year, the report estimates, though it adds that the idea “is not yet in any international agenda.”


The U.N. places the same estimated value on the proposed currency tax ($40 billion), and roughly the same thing on its proposed financial tax ($15 billion to $75 billion).

Even more innovative is a notion to, in effect, borrow the lines of credit allocated to rich countries themselves at the International Monetary Fund, and  “leverage” them to create new investment funds for the world’s poor. How to do this while preserving those credit lines as a reserve asset that rich countries could draw on when required, the report admits, remains to be seen.

Another “innovative” idea that may have trouble staying afloat is the notion of charging royalties on undersea minerals more than 100 miles offshore, within what are called “exclusive economic zones” — in effect, inside some country’s sovereign economic territory.

The sensitive issue here is that the world’s current “exclusive economic zones” extend 200 miles offshore — meaning that the U.N. is suggesting that it collect royalties on mineral wealth on half the “exclusive” territory, which it refers to in the report as part of the “global commons.” 

For most nations, excluding the U.S., those 200 mile zones were established by the U.N.-sponsored Law of the Sea Treaty, known as LOST, which came into force in 1994 after it was signed and ratified by 162 countries. (The U.S. signed but has not ratified LOST; its 200-mile “exclusive economic zone” was established by presidential decree.)

The new, 100-mile royalty proposal in the U.N.’s financing report would require a new agreement to hand over proceeds from half of that territory to the U.N.-sponsored International Seabed Authority.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Approximately 24 hours after this story was published, a spokesman for the U.S. Mission to the United Nations sent the following unsolicited statement to Fox News:  “The United States opposes global taxes because we believe that any source of revenue should remain under the control of national authorities. This is an idea that has been kicked around for years. Fortunately, it hasn’t gone anywhere, nor will it.”

The U.S. is currently one of the 54 nations elected for three year terms to ECOSOC, which, as the story notes, has incubated many of the “innovative” tax ideas. The U.S. term expires at the end of this year, though it may be re-elected.

George Russell is executive editor of Fox News and can be found on Twitter @GeorgeRussell

hannah's picture

isnt it funny that al jezerra can do a hit piece about america and we can all watch it but if someone in the usa did the same video and tried to show it in certain middle east countries they would be put in prison and probably beheaded...?


the video might be old but it is probably correct...but the real shizzle is that we have the freedom to still debate it....(at least til obama gets in for the second term, then he will declare himself the supreme monkey).

LetThemEatRand's picture

America is not so free.  We have the highest prison population by percentage of population of any other nation on earth by a mile.  People get pepper sprayed and arrested for being modern day hippies and protesting bankers.  People get arrested for protesting in the wrong area.  People get arrested for choosing to take substances that the government deems illegal (but they can take anything made by Pzifer until their liver explodes).  Etc.  And that all pre-existed O.   

Jack Burton's picture

Indeed LetThemEatRand!  Petty drug offenders are filling prisons across the land of the free. Tens of thousands of highly paid cops do nothing but scour the streets looking for kids with a joint or a black guy selling single doses of crack to the locals. As America seeks to privatize prisons, these prisons need customers, paying customers. So why not round up petty drug users who might take an oxy or smoke a joint. They can be turned into profit centers.

As to war, I am glad the above video finally makes clear what the Total yearly costs are. The so called defense budget is a joke, it is a fraction of what the war machine and wars cost the USA. And never, ever forget. Grandpa and grandma getting those so called free government benefits like medicare and Social Security have paid special payroll taxes their whole lives into those systems, the money was one sperate from the general budget, but in order to steal it for war, the government added that tax stream to the general budget and promptly spent much of the surplus on war. And these programs have been in surplus since they day they were created. As government stole the old people pension money for war, they now point the finger at these taxpaying aged folks and call them parasites! This is Orwellian as the old folks paid and paid and paid and paid and paid and paid into these programs. The war mongers stole their fucking money and those same elites now dare to call old workers parasites. I know who the real parasites are!

ZackAttack's picture

Marijuana alone is right around 28% of the state and local prison population (much smaller at the federal level, though), and represents about 800,000 court cases in the US every year.

If someone made a move to decriminalize it, you can bet the private prison industry and police themselves would do their best to slap it down.

blunderdog's picture

You can watch it, sure, but if you attract the Preznit's attention, he can put you in prison forever or have you killed.

We've got LAWS in this country, pardner, doncha know.

eatthebanksters's picture

I stopped 10 seconds in because this is bullshit (and out of date). I just went through this exercise last night on a FB thread full of people who want to believe bullshit propaganda (and I don't support the military, just the facts). The 2012 US budget is $3.8 trillion of which 24% is for defense spending.  $1.1 trilliion of the 2012 budget is borrowed.  Hope this clears it up...defense spending is not 53 cents of every dollar in our budget.

akak's picture

Just to be clear, it is "MILITARY spending" or "WAR spending", not "defense spending".

The US armed forces actually spend a miniscule portions of their budgets on "defense", as opposed to the vast majority which is in truth spent on offense.

crusty curmudgeon's picture

"It is well that war is so terrible...we should grow too fond of it."  -Robert E. Lee

Ying-Yang's picture

Drone attacks are like Halloween... "Trick or Treat motherfucker, BOOM"

Coming to a free society near you. Predictive pre-emption sucks.

DaveA's picture

Do you realize that the Department of Defense has never won a war? In 1945 we had a War Department and a Navy Department. None of this "defense" bullshit -- we proudly fought to win and go home victorious. This may relate to something Sir John Glubb wrote in The Fate of Empires:

"In the time of Roman greatness, the legions used to dig a ditch round their camps at night to avoid surprise. But the ditches were mere earthworks, and between them wide spaces were left through which the Romans could counter-attack. But as Rome grew older, the earthworks became high walls, through which access was given only by narrow gates. Counterattacks were no longer possible. The legions were now passive defenders."

Red Heeler's picture

"defense spending is not 53 cents of every dollar in our budget."

It's 54 cents according to this site: http://www.warresisters.org/pages/piechart.htm

Regardless, you can afford it no matter how much the government takes from you, can't you?

Me? I'd like to pay a little less; but double-tapping women and children with drones does get pricey, I suppose.

CynicLaureate's picture

Well, that's 54% of the Income Tax... the FICA/Medicare and other "transfer programs" are not counted in this chart.

The government spent over 4T dollars, so that would make Defense only 36% of Federal outlays.

You can always make a fraction seem larger or smaller by changing what you count in the denominator.


Red Heeler's picture

"You can always make a fraction seem larger or smaller by changing what you count in the denominator."

Regardles of the fraction, the government still takes more of one's money than one can afford to give.

ACP's picture

Absolutely correct. Military spending is just as overbloated as everything else in the government, but it doesn't help to throw out bogus numbers.

Edit: I think the best way to maintain military superiority is to keep the US military just a few years ahead of the rest of the world regarding technology on a larger scale, but continue to develop new technology and shelf it with plans to deploy if needed. Keep it completely out of reach of anyone who might steal it, but keep it ready. That way, there isn't a giant expenditure every time there's a leap in technology. The R&D can continue on a small scale and the "bloat" the military can be rolled back, as well as everything else the govt spends its money on.

ACP's picture

Disclaimer: I am not an Obama fan...but one of the few things he did right was expand Special Ops to go after our enemies.

Everyone knows that the private sector of the military-industrial complex wants to build and out test new "killing machines." Why does a war need to be started to do this? This can all be done on a small scale to eliminate extremists who are known to have attacked US/Allied interests & people. Plus, there's the added benefit of "plausible deniability," and much less "collateral damage."

The problem is, people are so focused on simple solutions to complex problems that something like this will probably never be inititated. That is, unless a Central Banking "Geneva Convention" is enacted to disallow manipulation of currencies to allow creation of fake wealth on demand. That way, people would actually be forced to think of plausible solutions to complex problems, instead of bullshit solutions.

hannah's picture

'...to eliminate extremists who are known to have attacked US/Allied interests & people.'


so when we have armed corporations killing the locals so we can steal their natural resources, we need to have a secret special ops groups go out and slaughter the locals for fighting back. i have a solution...dont kill and enslave the locals and we wont have hate directed towards us.

ACP's picture

No, obviously not. Osama bin Laden was a wealthy terrorist who didn't give a flying fuck about the people he sent out to kill people he didn't like. He (Edit: and people like him) would be a target.

Your comment is exactly what I was talking about. Instead of asking "would you have armed corporations killing the locals..." you automatically assumed that was the plan. And that is disturbing. There is no black and white answer. John Adams, one of the first Presidents of the United States, defended the British soldiers involved in the Boston massacre because the situation wasn't as clear cut as it seemed. He was also primary figure in the Revolutionary War. Why would he defend "murderers" and then take part in the Revolutionary War?

Maybe it's because the situation required a lot more analysis than simply accusing people of wanting to slaughter "locals."

hannah's picture

ACP - our corporations are in foreign countries stealing resources, the locals resent it and fight back so we kill them. they get pissed and then fly an airplane into a building in the usa and kill americans.


are you telling me that if i went to your house and stole your shit raped your wife and killed your kids all so i could make a profit for my shareholders, that you wouldnt want to kill me...? then when you try i have a special ops force kill you and the rest of your family and call you an extremist...?



ACP's picture

Airplanes were sent into the Twin Towers because a wealthy terrorist didn't like the fact that American soldiers were on Saudi soil.

When did corporations send people into houses to rape a kill people to make a profit? If you're talking about what happened AFTER September 11, 2001, THAT could be have completely avoided if the US government had opted for covert actions, instead of a ridiculous war. A full-scale war was the wrong decision and the penalty, unfortunately, was blood on both sides.

Before September 11, 2001, did the US send soldiers into Saudi Arabia and tell the people  "If you don't sell us oil, we will kill you and rape your wives." No, the local government was more than happy to allow US petroleum companies to drill for oil, in exchange for billions of dollars in easy money. Saudi Arabia was more than happy to let the US stage an action that removed Iraqi forces from Kuwait during the first gulf war. What does that have to do with raping and killing people for profit?

How would you feel if your son or daughter was murdered in California or Texas or North Dakota for working for an oil company because a nutcase from Maine felt that he didn't want oil companies drilling for oil there? For doing something that was totally legal? Would you high five the murderer because he was only defending "US soil" from evil corporations?

Edit: By the same token, who is to blame for corporations outsourcing US jobs to China? It sounds like you would be all for committing terrorist attacks against Chinese assets in the US and elsewhere, instead of laying the blame squarely where it belongs - on the policies of the US govt.


hannah's picture

ACP - you really are very very stupid. really..! have you ever cracked a book about the history of the middle east? maybe try reading about the history of the aea over the last 400 years....


if you are serious and not just a troll, you have a fantastic lack of reading comprehension and jesus the logic of a hamster. ....maybe a touch of ADD also.


do you really feel that the 9/11 event was simply because osama didnt like the us on saudi soil...? you have a lot to learn and the way things are going, you arent going to have time to learn before TSHTF and you get to experience some of your 'covert action' but it is going to be pointed towards your ilk.


good luck brother...LOL


* you know...you are just too damn stupid to be real...gotta be a troll. 'When did corporations send people into houses to rape a kill people to make a profit?'...no one is that stupid.

GetZeeGold's picture



 maybe try reading about the history of the aea over the last 400 years....


I did and found out Thomas Jefferson smoked those raghead muzzies into the ground......not sure why I didn't learn that in school.

They made a song about it. The Marines liked it so much they still use it to this day.