Making the “Invisible Hand” Visable

Your tax dollars at work

“The median income family in the United States paid $3,736 in federal income taxes in 2006. Here is how that amount was spent.– sara”

I continue to be intrigued by the increasingly effective techniques to share information by creating easy to understand visuals and then making them widely available. In this case, I found the graph on Catherine Mulbrandon’s blog, Visualizing Economics.

Mulbrandon finds visualizations of data from around the web; these are often collected on a site called Swivel, which allows you to post data that can then be easily posted on your blog or website (as I have here). This chart was collected by Sara, whose Swivel collection is here.

I can’t help but wonder what might happen if the word got around that thanks to Bush administration interest on the combined military and non-military debt is now 19.4%, or that the military eats up 30.4% of the budget (counting Veteran’s benefits).

This means that more than 50% of the budget either goes to the military and the debt, each of which is tied to the war in Iraq. Education takes a paltry 4.5% and Health 20.9%. It’s especially shocking given Bush’s veto of an expansion of health care for childrenand 42 Billion military supplement.

About Ray Watkins

I was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, at Our Lady of the Lake Hospital. I grew up in Houston, as a part of what we only half-jokingly call the Cajun Diaspora. At a certain point during the Regan administration, I had to leave, so I served in the Peace Corps, Philippines, from 1987-89. I didn't want to return to the United States just yet, so I moved to Paris, France, where I lived for three years or so. I then moved back to Austin, Texas, where I had received my Masters Degree, and (eventually) began a Ph.D., which I completed in 1999. I spent a year at Temple University and then accepted a position at Eastern Illinois University where I worked until May of 2006. I now work exclusively on line (although that may change) for Johns Hopkins, the Art Institute Online, and I can be reached most easily via email: raywatkins [that 'at' symbol]

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