From the redoubtable Stephanie Coontz and the Council on Contemporary Families:

Americans tend to think we are better off than families in most other industrial countries because we pay lower income taxes. But when we factor in the higher amount Americans pay for health care, child care, and education, the comparison is not always in our favor. Where do American families' tax dollars go and what family "value" they get in return?

For every $100 in income tax:

  • $32 goes to national defense
  • $19 goes to interest on the national debt
  • $15 goes to supplemental programs such as TANF, child tax credits, and farm subsidies
  • $14 goes to health
  • $6 goes to education, employment, and social services
  • $4 goes to transportation
  • $2 goes to administration of justice
  • $2 goes to environment and natural resources
  • $2 goes to international affairs
  • $1 goes to community and regional development
  • $1 goes to agriculture
  • $1 goes to science, space, and technology
  • $1 goes to the commerce and housing funds.

Want to find out more, including how the United States compares to other countries? See the full report.

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