Where Your Tax Dollars Really Go | Robert Reich

Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress claim that America spends too much on things like

food stamps, welfare, and foreign aid. But let’s look at how the government actually

spends your federal tax dollars each year.

We’re going to look at what’s known as the “discretionary budget,”

which has to be reappropriated by Congress each year.

Let’s start with foreign aid, the conservatives’ favorite boogeyman. It’s $29 billion a year.

That may sound like a lot but it’s only 2 percent of all discretionary spending.

Add all spending on international affairs, it’s 4 percent.

What about science and technology, including NASA, the National Science Foundation, and

research in clean energy, which conservatives love to hate.

Just 3 percent.

The environment and natural resources, money for clean air, safe drinking water and protecting public lands?

Another 3 percent.

Roads, bridges, highways, airports, all transportation funding:

Another 3 percent.

Community and regional development:

2 percent.

Law enforcement, the Department of Justice, the entire federal court system:

5 percent.

The Centers for Disease Control, the National Institutes of Health, and rural health clinics:

5 percent.

Food stamps, energy assistance, child care, other income security:

Just 6 percent.

Education and workforce training gets just 7 percent.

Veterans benefits account for 7 percent of the budget as well.

All other government services--including Energy, Agriculture, and Commerce--account for only

1 percent of the discretionary budget.

But that’s only 46 percent. The remaining 54 percent of annual spending

is on the military,

which is more spent on the military than the next 7 nations combined.

It’s huge.

It’s about the only really big thing the federal government does.

You may be thinking, but what about Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act?

By law, these programs are mandatory spending, which don't require Congress to

approve funding every year. Americans have paid into Social Security and Medicare over

their entire working lives.

So if Trump and Republicans in Congress aren’t going to cut these programs,

they’re going to cut



It’s the oldest trick in the Republican playbook.

Their goal has always been to make

the deepest possible cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Affordable Care Act

in order to make way for more tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations.

So when you hear a politician complain that the federal government spends too much on

these sorts of things,

don’t believe it.


where the money is really going.

What do you think? What should the federal government spend money on?

Let us know in the comments.

If you found this video informative, be sure to also watch our video on the military industrial drain.

As always, thank you for watching, and be sure to subscribe to this channel for more videos

like this one.