On April 15, Congressman Jim McDermott (D-WA) reintroduced “The Taxpayer Receipt Act,” (H.R. 1583), which would provide each American taxpayer with a comprehensive, itemized list of how their tax dollars are spent each year.
Congressman McDermott announced H.R. 1583 by stating:
“Most Americans don’t understand how their tax dollars are spent – a recent poll showed that 60% of Americans think 10-30% of the budget goes to foreign aid, when it’s actually less than 1%. It’s time that we provided every American with an easy-to-read receipt on federal spending – it could be like the receipt you get after shopping at the grocery store.”
If McDermott’s bill is passed and signed into law, here is a sample of what the tax receipt could look like.
Also on April 15, the White House announced a new online tool for individuals to calculate how much of their income tax payments are spent on specific areas of the federal budget. The White House website allows an individual to enter the dollar amount of Medicare, Social Security and income taxes they paid for 2010. The tool then shows what percentage and dollar amounts of the taxpayer’s total tax payments are used for specific budget categories, such as national defense (26.3 percent), health care (24.3 percent), and education and job training (4.8 percent). The White House’s “Your Federal Tax Receipt” calculator is located online.
The idea of McDermott’s bill and the White House’s website is to help Americans fully understand how their tax dollars are actually spent. If the government wants to provide us with an easy-to-read and understandable receipt for government spending, they should also report to us how much they are spending using the government credit card on our behalf!
I can’t wait to apply for my receipt! It will make me feel so much better as to how the government is spending my money!