|For those paying income taxes later this month and wondering just what their money goes toward, here is a breakdown of how the U.S. government spends it.
One quarter of all income taxes are consumed by national defense, which represents the largest slice of the tax-money pie. More precisely, 10.3% goes to 'ongoing operations;' 7.9% to research, development, weapons and constructions; and 5.6% to salaries and benefits.
Almost another quarter (23.7%) is spent on health care programs, such as Medicare (10.5%) and Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program (10.0%).
Among the other big ticket categories are veterans' benefits (4.5%), military and civilian retirement and disability payments (4.4%), and food and nutrition assistance (3.7%). And--not to be overlooked--interest on the national debt'8.1%.