Its that time of year: Time to do your taxes. In doing mine, and guessing what my husband I owe, I wanted to compare it to the government services I receive and to ask myself if I felt what I was giving is what I was getting.
The first thing that I thought of is that it is hard to put a price on the security provided to us by our U.S. military. My instant reaction was that the service is priceless. But then I thought of a way to put a price tag on it.
To get an estimate of how much security is worth, I took a look at our federal budget for 2010.
The total budget is $3.5 trillion. If we take only things as they pertain to security, the list is this for a total of $834 billion
$663.70 billion Department of Defense (including Overseas Contingency Operations)
$52.50 billion Department of Veterans Affairs
$51.70 billion Department of State and Other International Programs
$42.70 billion Department of Homeland Security
$23.90 billion Department of Justice
There are slightly over 300 million people in the United States. Only 63% of them are between the ages of 18-65, making for about 193 million.
If you take how much security costs and divide it by how many people there are, that total is $4,300.
This is arguably how much it costs per person for security. If married, that amount is $8,600 per couple.
How does the cost for this stack up against what you owe?