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American Prospects

Yes, We Have A (Defense) Spending Problem

January 7, 2013

Last year, in 2012, the U.S. government spent about $841 billion on security?a figure that includes defense, intelligence, war appropriations, and foreign aid. At the same time, the government collected about $1.1 trillion in individual income taxes. (And about $2.4 trillion in revenues overall if you include payroll, corporate, estate, and excise taxes.) 

In other words, about 80 cents of every dollar collected in traditional federal income taxes went for security. 

That's an astonishing statistic, and it captures the most u

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