Taxes then and now

WW I pie chart.indd

Every year as April’s tax dead­li­nes comes near, the War Resisters League pro­duces a pie chart show­ing mil­i­tary spend­ing as a per­cent­age of the fed­er­al bud­get. This year Ed Hede­mann went back in time to see what the chart would have looked like dur­ing World War I:

A strik­ing dif­fer­ence between this fic­tion­al WW I era pie chart and today’s ver­sion is how much sim­pler the fed­er­al bud­get was back then. Not only was it a lot small­er – vast­ly small­er – there were many few­er cat­e­gories. A hun­dred years ago, the bud­get was most­ly mil­i­tary (75% of the bud­get) – even before entry into WW I – a large part of which was to pay off expens­es incurred dur­ing the Civil War from 50 years ear­lier and the recently-ended Spanish-American War. The non­mil­i­tary por­tions were labeled “Indi­ans,” “Postal Defi­cien­cies,” and “Civil and Mis­cel­la­neous.”

H/t The Pick­ett Line