There’s an old saying to the effect: “Show me a man’s checkbook and I’ll show you what’s important to him.”
It may not be quite the same as a checkbook, but NPR’s Planet Money passes along what a receipt from the federal government might look like for an average taxpayer (HT):
As Third Way, who put together the taxpayer receipt, argues:
An electorate unschooled in basic budget facts is a major obstacle to controlling the nation’s deficit, not to mention addressing a host of economic and social problems. We suggest that everyone who files a tax return receive a “taxpayer receipt.” This receipt would tell them to the penny what their taxes paid for based on the amount they paid in federal income taxes and FICA.
From this receipt, what’s important to the federal government, and what does that say about our society?