Skip to Content

See How the U.S. Government Spends Your Tax Dollar

As tax day approaches, take a look at how the U.S. government spends your dollars.


At nearly 30%, the largest portion is spent on health care, such as Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program. National defense comes in second, with more than 23% paying for Pentagon operations and the military.

President Donald Trump wants to increase defense spending for items like new aircrafts, ships and fighters while cutting tax dollars for domestic programs and foreign aid.

Interest on federal debt, which is just under $20 trillion, eats up the next 13% and the rest pays for things like education, unemployment and social programs like Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (commonly referred to as food stamps), housing assistance, veterans’ benefits, transportation, and science.

Many of these areas could see a decrease in taxpayer funding next year if lawmakers implement Trump administration proposals to cut programs like the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.

The U.S. isn’t the only country shelling out a significant chunk of tax dollars to pay for its national debt, it accounted for 10% of public spending in Canada and 6% in the United Kingdom. Greece tops the list of countries in the red as it continues to battle its debt crisis.


Trump claimed repeatedly during the presidential campaign that the U.S. has the highest taxes in the world. That title, however, belongs to Denmark, where the average personal income tax rate in 2015 was just over than 25%.


Compared to other nations, the U.S. spends more on defense and less on public education, according to 2015 data from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.