Yglesias

Taxpayer Receipt

The idea from Third Way for a taxpayer receipt is getting a lot of praise and deservedly so. But I do have a word of caution about it, namely that I’m pretty sure their sample receipt is inaccurate:

Taxpayer-receipt

Do we really spend more on national parks than on highways or Head Start? All signs that I’ve been able to dig up point to “no.” Parks are about $2.7 billion while Head Start is closer to $7 billion and highways are over $39 billion. The highway number on the tax receipt may be lower than that because they’re attributing the bulk of the highway spending to gasoline taxes (which is correct given the parameters of the exercise but serves as a reminder that defining it this way may confuse people) but I don’t understand why the park/preschool balance is so far off.

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