Death and Taxes, the 2010 edition


Jess Bachman, creator of the "Death and Taxes" posters I've blogged about before, sends word that the 2010 version has just been released. The posters display an intricate visual representation of where your US tax dollars go. Jess says:
I was excited to get this done because it is Obama's first budget and I wanted to see if budget each year was a 'more of the same' process, of if the administration in power really had their hands in its crafting. I can say that the changes from the Bush administration are many, and mostly positive (depending on who you talk to). Public radio no longer gets cut every year, Education, Energy and Health are all up, and get this, there is tons of cuts.... on the military side!
More about this year's poster here. Jess is offering a discount to BoingBoing readers: enter 'boing' during checkout to get 50% off if you buy two or more posters.


  1. But the stimulus bill, *wharrgarrbl!*

    (just beating the rabid Obamahaters to the punch).

    Very neat visually.

  2. @Talia,

    Right, well the stimulus is in there. Since the stimulus money was enacted under the 2009 budget, it is not directly depicted here, being the 2010 budget. However the second percentage for all civillian figures is the change from ’08 to ’09, so a large number there will show you where the stimulus money went. Just look at some of the energy spending, or education, lots of stimulus bucks went there.

  3. Good that NPR is no longer cut. Now if they can just ax those neocon shitstains Steve Inskeep and Mara Liasson, maybe bring Bob Edwards back and do some actual journalism instead of their typical corporate tongue baths. Not getting my hopes up.

  4. Oh ok fair enough. I was mainly being sarcastic, as any reference to the economy/government spending tends to bring out the haters in legions.

    Don’t mind me.

  5. To comments that are preemptively bashing non-liberal viewpoints, way to be tolerant. I consider myself independent and try to read sources of information from both sides of the political spectrum, and one common trait amongst both neolibs and neocons is they love to bash the other side using trite, immature, and unproductive language. It gets really annoying.

    I think its important to be able to say whatever the hell you want, for instance if I said:
    “liberal shitstains” or “socialist-commie-shitstains” or “freeloading-non-bath-taking-hippies”, I shouldn’t be censored. But what am I accomplishing by using such expressions. Nothing.

    So lets grow up and have more productive comments, than just name-calling. You liberal fuckers. : )

  6. Given that “provide for the common defense” is in the flippin’ preamble of the Constitution, I fail to see how it is so super-great and “positive” that “there is (sic) tons of cuts…. on the military side!”

  7. Maybe because the money’s being badly used?

    Also, Xeni, I think you’ve pasted link markup into a “URL” space, or something. Here.

  8. I would say the US is already pretty damn well defended, to the point of finding other countries to invade and then defend.

    If anything the US needs to sell off all its surplus stealth bombers and tactical weapons so we get some quick cash and then our kids have someone really interesting to go up against in the future. It’s like an investment!

  9. Noen…you got a little foam there. No, there, in the corner of your mouth…got it.

    I’m not the world’s biggest fans of Steve and Mara, but I think calling them neocons is pretty bizarre. I also think calling them shitstains is wayyy the fuck out there in the left field of an as-yet-unbuilt ballpark. On Mars.

    And you know very well why they couldn’t use Bob Edwards any more. They wanted a host on each coast, and they couldn’t find anyone of Edwards’ stature for the West Coast slot…mainly because there IS no one else of his stature.

  10. Given that “provide for the common defense” is in the flippin’ preamble of the Constitution, I fail to see how it is so super-great and “positive” that “there is (sic) tons of cuts…. on the military side!”

    Um… I am pretty sure the few thousand nukes the US has sitting around are a pretty good ‘get the fuck off the lawn’ sign if the worlds largest military and heavily armed population was not. We could use some serious cuts in military spending. I give Gates mad props for being Obama’s little pit bull and laying the smack down on congress after they decided that clearly we need a dozen more billion+ dollar stealth fighters that no one asked for to go fight goat herders in Afghanistan.

    I’m not against having a military. I’m against having a military that is built like it needs the capacity to not only repel simultaneous attacks for Russia and China, but also invade them in turn. Guess what guys? If we ever need a few hundred stealth fighters to defeat a foe, it means that there are a few thousand ICBMs already in the air and that we are so far fucked that that we are going only a few minutes to admire the length of the American military cock before every major city is converted into radioactive goo.

    What the American military needs is more cheap drones with greater capacity, not weapons designed to whack enemies that can only be fought if you fancy a nuclear annihilation. A dozen drones that can loiter over an area for a day and watch and pick off individual people with a minimal of collateral are drastically more useful that a multi-billion dollar toy designed to be able to fly to Moscow and back without being seen.

  11. @ The Tim #7:

    The guy who happened to be General of the Army at the end of WWII made a famous plea for military spending cutbacks back in 1961, when we faced greater military threats and used less of our GDP on defense than we do today.

    If military spending was really about making us safer then congress wouldn’t have tried to buy all those extra F-22s against the wishes of the frickin’ PENTAGON.

  12. This poster is pointless since it neglects (by design) the so called non-discretionary programs.

  13. Overall, it looks like the military is getting $100 billion more than in last year’s graphic. Can’t be that much of a cut. Maybe there were hidden costs last year that didn’t show up on the poster?

  14. @The Tim: Just because the constitution suggests we should have a military doesn’t mean we need to have a military that spends more money than most other countries combined.

    I’m giving you some benefit of the doubt that you weren’t just trolling, but your comment was silly. We spend a ridiculous amount on our military in this country.

    Also, please reread the constitution, as most people seem to ignore the other things the preamble suggests, especially when it comes to welfare:

    “We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

  15. As a representation of just the “discretionary” budget, this is a deeply misleading look at how we spend our money.

    “Mandatory” spending outweighs “discretionary” spending by a factor of over one-and-a-half. So you can whine about how much we’re paying out to the DoD, but we’re paying out nearly as much for each of government-subsidized healthcare (Medicare & Medicaid) and Social Security.

    Don’t point out that they’re paid for with separate taxes. That’s willfully ignoring the reality of the government budget-making process. It’s all one big pot of money.

  16. Good, N. We should be paying MUCH, MUCH more for goverment-subsidized healthcare than for defense. We have the lowest tax rate in the industrialized world, and I think that we should be ashamed of that and be willing to pay what it costs to have a better society.

    And *I* personally don’t feel I should have to pay for a bunch of motherfuckin’ F22s that can’t be flown in the rain. I can think of much better ways to spend that money, trust me.

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