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Visualizing our tax dollars at work

Visualization can make even the most boring, painful, lackluster information look interesting.  Jess Bachman has created a fact-based representation of the federal budget for 2011, focusing on the programs that receive 200M+ and the discretionary budget (essentially dollars spent with contractors as opposed to those that go toward government employee salaries and things like medicare).

The size of the department seals is proportional to the amount of the total discretionary budget they receive.  For example, the Department of Defense’s proportion is larger than that of other departments, as represented by the large size of its seal.

You can also examine the intra-departmental budget breakdowns, like this one for the Department of Health and Human Services:

The NIH (National Institutes of Health) receives the largest portion of DHHS’s funding, and the graphic drills down further to examine each department within the NIH.

There’s an interesting break down in the lower left side that explains how much you as an individual put towards each billion dollars spent – regardless of HOW you feel about the spending practices, it’s interesting to see where the dollars go.

It’s certainly interesting (and enlightening!) to to see where all our taxes go.  Visit WallStats to see the full post!

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