White House 'Tax Receipt' Shows Where Your Tax Dollars Are Being Spent

With only a few days to go before we’re all supposed to have filed out tax returns, the White House has launched an updated version of its interactive Tax Receipt to show people where their tax dollars are going.

Speaking earlier today at an event attended by Consumerist’s own Meg Marco, President Obama said the philosophy behind posting the receipt is that “the more people know, the more we can effectively govern.”

Obama suggested that it was understandable that people may not have a clear picture about what the government is spending and what their tax money goes toward. He hopes his administration can help provide good information.

On the same page as the Tax Receipt, the White House points out that 1,470 people who made more than a million dollars in 2009 effectively paid $0 in federal income tax.

The administration is using the opportunity to push for the “Buffett Rule,” which would ensure that households earning more than a million aren’t paying a smaller portion of their income in taxes than the rest of us.

Jason Furman, Deputy Director of the National Economic Council, said the Buffett Rule isn’t meant as a cure-all to the deficit problem, but was about “basic tax fairness.” He does admit, however, that while the ideas behind the Buffett Rule are simple, the actual implementation may end up being fairly complex.

Our tax system “isn’t as fair as it should be,” said the President. “We are eager for transparency, entirely interested in accountability both in congress and the white house.” Obama said he hopes that access to information will help people “make their own decisions and help guide the debate”

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.