Americans pay an overwhelming amount of state and federal taxes throughout their lives on a number of activities. The state and federal governments use these taxes to fund government salaries, social programs, science, defense, roads and education.
According to the official budget of the U.S. government, in 2008, about $606 billion of U.S. tax money went to funding the contingencies in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as military salaries, research and development of equipment, and technology.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, in 2008, the federal government spent about 21 percent of the budget on Social Security, a mandated retirement program for seniors, their dependents and disabled workers.
According to the official budget, in 2008, about $391 billion went to Medicare.
In 2008, $1.4 billion was spent on energy, energy information, policy, conservation, supply and preparedness, according to the official budget.
Science, Space and Technology
According to the official budget, in 2008, the federal government spent more than $26 billion on science, space and technology.
In 2008, the federal government also spent about 8 percent of the federal budget on paying the interest on the national debt, which was nearly $6 trillion at the end of 2008.