He paid about $17 to law & order in 2016

So where did President Donald Trump’s now-famous $750 tax payment go?

Donald Trump wearing a suit and tie

© Oliver Contreras/For The Washington Post/Getty Images

That’s all Trump paid in taxes for 2016, according to the New York Times — far less than the typical US household paid.


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CNN Business analyzed figures from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office to breakdown how income tax dollars were spent in fiscal year 2017. And using those figures to make estimates, the biggest chunk of Trump’s $750 was about $181.87 that went to pay for the Defense Department, of which the president is a vocal supporter. That was only enough to pay for about a single day’s worth of salary for an Army sergeant with about 10-years of seniority.

An additional $72.44 went to pay veterans benefits and military pensions.

After the military and veterans, the next biggest recipient of his income tax dollars was Medicaid, which received $115.60 from Trump. Medicaid provides health care to the poor and helps cover the cost of nursing home care for the nation’s elderly who can’t afford the care themselves.

Various other programs to help the poor come next, with $111.28 of Trump’s money. That includes programs such as SNAP — also known as food stamps — which received $21.58, and the earned income tax credit and other tax credits to help the working poor, which received $25.59. Federal unemployment benefits got $9.56 of Trump’s money.

Interest on the national debt comes next, getting $81.07 of Trump’s taxes. Then the payments get fairly modest: $31.13 that went to pension benefits for federal civilian employees, $28.36 that went to education and $18.50 that went to health care other than Medicare and Medicaid.

Spending on law enforcement, including the Justice Department, captured only $16.95 of Trump’s $750, while international affairs, including US embassies around the world and foreign aid, got $15.72

The rest of the money spent by the federal government — national parks, NASA, the EPA and innumerable other federal agencies and programs — altogether totals only $77.07 of the $750 in income taxes he reportedly paid.

Income tax payments are the primary way that the federal government is supported, with taxpayers rich and poor contributing $1.6 trillion to federal coffers for fiscal year 2017. Individual income taxes pay the overwhelming majority of everything in the federal budget not named Social Security and Medicare (those are supported by dedicated payroll taxes). Most transportation spending also comes from dedicated sources other than income tax, such as gasoline taxes and fees paid by airline passengers and airlines. By comparison, corporate taxes contributed $297 billion to federal coffers during that fiscal year.

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