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Dear America: Know Where Your Money is Going

Is your money going to useful causes?
Jonathan Ernst
You, and your money, are standing with Ukraine, and it is no small amount of your money.

There is no doubt that The United States (US) is an expensive place to live. Employed Americans receive their paycheck, and if you look closely, you will usually see about 20% to 30% of your money is going somewhere other than your wallet.

While it is understood that most of these cuts are beneficial later on, this is just the beginning of your losses. The cost of living alone will take out another huge portion of your payout.

Through SmartAsset, you can begin to gather a rough understanding of how much money is being taken out and where it is going. It does not seem to matter to many people why the tax rates are so high as many will simply say, “That’s just the way it is.”

To start, nearly 47% ($752.06 billion) of the Federal Income Tax revenue in 2021 went directly into military spending (National Priorities). Year after year, the US leads the world in military spending. In 2023, the US spent more on their military than any of the next 10 leading countries combined (

The Pentagon budget, like all government spending, is an expression of priorities.”

— Alex Pareene

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There is no doubt that investing in the military is necessary for the safety of civilians, but why does it have to be so much? Americans could be taking home thousands more each year if the military budget was cut by 5%-10%.

A good portion of your tax money goes to education. So, the question may be raised for some, why are people without children attending public school paying for other kids to go to school? 10% ($158.7 billion) of tax revenue goes to education, and many people are paying for something they will never utilize.

Why make someone pay for something they do not use?”

There are questionable uses of tax dollars within education systems. Schools often apply for certain grants that will allow them to receive money for seemingly necessary improvements to the district. The Sutton School District for instance, applied for a security improvement grant for the amount of some $130,000. More information on this specifically can be found in Philip Ostrowski’s article concerning this grant.

This grant was deemed necessary by a committee composed of individuals within the district. Many students and staff members are confused as to why so much money is being granted to the school district for security cameras when there have been no true issues with the prior technology. Maybe a different grant, one that addresses fixing physical issues with the physical school such as the roof which is constantly leaking, would be a better direction.

One of the many leaks that need to be fixed in Sutton Middle/High School William Sawicki

Often, when driving through certain areas, you will see a school and wonder why it is in such bad shape, or why improvements have not been made. If the state would more carefully select which districts receive money for things, it is unlikely that you would see as many of these run down schools. It is the people’s job to stand up for things like this.

According to, in 2022, public education across the United States averaged $14,347 per pupil.”

Another area, where a large amount of tax dollars, go is to foreign countries. Ukraine, for example, has received over $75 billion in cash and equipment from the Biden Administration (NY Times). What do American citizens gain from this? What will it do for our nation other than plunge us further into debt? Many Americans are upset at this mostly because they have no say in when and where this “foreign affairs” money goes. If they are paying for it, should they not have a say?

The whole point of the US style of government is to allow people to decide what the government is doing, especially when it comes to money. People now live in a world where they fear the government, but our country was founded on the principle that the government should fear the people.

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About the Contributor
William Sawicki
William Sawicki, Staff Reporter
My name is William, but I most often go by Will. I attend Sutton High School. I have lived in Sutton my whole life. I enjoy being outdoors and doing outdoor activities. I like to hike, fish, snowboard, water ski, and many other outdoor oriented things.

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