Every year some pollster asks Americans what percentage of the federal budget goes to foreign aid. And every year Americans make a guess that is wildly off the mark. The average answer we give is 26 percent; only 1 out of 20 of us correctly guess that it’s less than 1 percent.
Part of the reason we are wrong is that we’re just really bad at guesstimation. But another reason is that we rarely take the time to find out what is actually in the federal budget.
Fortunately, the Office of Management and Budget has something that can make that process easier. Using their interactive graphic you can explore where your tax dollars go and see what portion of the Federal budget is dedicated to different program areas under President Obama’s proposed budget for 2016.
Even just a glance at the proposed budget will show you that former undersecretary of the Treasury Peter Fisher was right when he described the U.S. government as “an insurance company with an army.”
Note: This is just a static image. Click here to find the interactive graphic.