What Does the U.S. Government Do With Tax Money?

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Public works are financed using tax dollars. The largest portion of tax revenues (24 percent) are spent on Social Security by way of payments to the elderly and disabled.

The second largest expenditure for the U.S. government and its tax revenues (22 percent) is funding for Medicare, Medicaid and CHIP, followed closely by expenditures for the military and international security (19 percent). Safety net programs (12 percent), benefits for federal retirees and veterans (8 percent) and interest paid on federal debt (6 percent) round out the list of top expenditures. Other program areas of expense include funding for transportation and infrastructure (3 percent), science and medical research (2 percent) and education (1 percent).