Who’s Watching Your Tax Dollars?

Posted on 04. Jul, 2007 by in Saving & Investing

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You’ve undoubtedly heard me talk about how minimizing taxes can be one of the easiest ways to save money. However, I usually only talk about how you can save money on your personal income tax returns. Another way in which you can save EVERYONE money is by helping the federal government save money.

Helping Uncle Same save money = Less taxes from your paycheck

I imagine at least a few of you are already rolling your eyes or even laughing out loud right now, but I want you to hear me out. I believe that all of the wonderful freedoms and rights that we enjoy on a daily basis are directly tied to responsibilities. One of the responsibilities that you and I have is to keep tabs on the spending habits of the government. If you and I don’t keep some of the boneheaded, bloated, and outrageously expensive legislation from being passed… you’ll eventually feel it in your back pocket.

A reader recently tipped me off to a great little site called WashigntonWatch.com which helps us all (regardless of your political affiliation) keep tabs on new legislation that’s being pushed through congress. But the site doesn’t stop there. The good folks at WashingtonWatch.com go so far as to report the financial effect each piece of legislation would have on the average American family.

For example, the Department of Homeland Security Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2008, which authorizes the Homeland Security budget of $40 billion (yes, billion) is going to cost each American family approximately $372.97.

Have you heard of the John R. Justice Prosecutors and Defenders Incentive Act of 2007? This bad boy authorizes the appropriation of $25 million for fiscal year 2008 for the Attorney General to establish a program to repay student loans for certain prosecutors and public defenders who agree to serve for at least three years in those positions. Our cost? Only $0.74.

Not only can you get an overview of what’s happening on Capital Hill, but there are handy links to read the actual bill itself, read an analysis of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office, and see what people are saying about the bill.

With websites such as this one, it’s now even easier for you and I to fulfill our American responsibilities. I hate paying taxes as much as the next guy, but I REALLY hate when my hard-earned cash funds ridiculous pieces of legislation. Help me keep the government on budget and in turn, save yourself a little cash in the long run.

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