THE BLOG
04/04/2012 03:45 pm ET Updated Jun 04, 2012

Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go?

Ah, tax season. Whether it's money you owe or a refund coming your way, I'm sure you know how much it is. But if you're like most us of, you likely don't know where your tax dollars actually go. Think about it. Do you know how your tax dollars are spent? Don't be discouraged, neither did I.

There's so much talk in the news about Social Security, Medicare, and foreign assistance spending. It got us wondering how much we contribute to each. Well, thankfully we've now got a simple way for you to find out.

ONE's new Interactive Tax Tool shows you where your tax dollars go. Just enter your household income and you'll see your tax money break down into eight categories -- national defense, Social Security, health, unemployment, Medicare, interest on US debt, foreign assistance and other. It's not exact -- it assumes you file as a single without exemptions -- but you get the picture.

Most importantly, ONE's tax tool reveals how you personally have contributed to improving the lives of the poorest people on the planet. Together, Americans have helped put 5 million people on AIDS medication, halved malaria deaths in 11 African countries and saved the lives of 15 million children. Pretty amazing stuff. Even more amazing? We've done it for less than 1% of the US budget.

But once again, that small slice of the U.S. budget is in jeopardy. The House recently approved a budget that would slash the international affairs account by more than 10% -- an enormous setback to all the hard work and investments we've made to end extreme poverty for good. In light of this threat, ONE is calling on Congress to protect these programs that fight HIV/AIDS and hunger, and save millions of lives, even in a tightening budget. I hope you'll join us.

As you file your taxes (which are due April 17th by the way!) don't forget the tremendous impact and enormous good we do with so little. And don't take my word for it -- see for yourself at www.one.org.