Death and Taxes 2009: Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go (Million, Billion, Trilllion, Basketballs)

via Death and Taxes 2009: A Visual Guide to Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go – WallStats

Nice rundown here of the federal budge and how your tax dollars are spent.   I liked how they were able to embed the videos into the document as well.  It looks like Silverlight is making some application-level progress.

UPDATE: I was thinking more about why I like this chart so much and I realized it’s because of the way that it compares information in proportional circles.  I think this is probably one of the best ways to graphically convey scale and easily allow comparisons. 

Sometimes it is difficult to know, instinctively for most people, the difference between a million and a billion, but seeing the difference between a circle the size of a basketball (9.39 in.) one big enough to fill the gap in the Lackawanna Valley Bridge (800 ft.) and it quickly become apparent to everyone what 1000X actually means.

Now if you take that basketball up to a trillion times (in American english, 1000 billion, in English english a “billion” or a million million) and you have to draw a circle around most of the cool parts of Southern California (18,000 sq. mi.).

So if you think of that basketball as a dollar, think of having to set up enough basketballs to fille up a circle 18,000 sq. ki. across to think of a trillion dollars.

That’s about how much we spend.  You can see that in the chart above (which needs a handy real world comparison as well).

Oh, and can someone check my math.

One thought on “Death and Taxes 2009: Where Your Federal Tax Dollars Go (Million, Billion, Trilllion, Basketballs)

  1. I’d have to acknowledge with you one this subject. Which is not something I usually do! I really like reading a post that will make people think. Also, thanks for allowing me to speak my mind!

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