FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WhatWePayFor.com Grass Roots Website Seeks to Create Clarity and Transparency in Government Spending by Breaking Down Each Individual Taxpayer’s Burden
MINNEAPOLIS, MN – October 12, 2010 – “The complexity of the American tax system can be over-whelming,” says Louis Garcia, co-creator of a new website that seeks to alleviate this problem. The site, www.WhatWePayFor.com, has become enormously popular in the month since its launch. On a single day in early October, the site had 170,000 page views, over 1,000 of which came from NPR discussion boards.
“It’s hard to relate to government spending when the numbers of dollars are in billions and trillions. WhatWePayFor.com makes government spending accessible,” says WhatWePayFor.com co-creator, Andrew Johnson, “A significant portion of a person’s income goes to taxes, and we have a right to know how our money is spent.”
But having the right to know and actually knowing what the numbers mean are two different things. The Federal Budget spending is public domain. Given the motivation, anyone can go view this data in all its complexities. Now, WhatWePayFor.com gives all citizens a tool to easily decipher the Federal Budget in a way that will be meaningful to taxpayers’ individual budgets.
“The feedback from our visitors has been excitement mixed with irritation. They have been thrilled that this exists but then they become frustrated once they analyze the distribution of their tax dollars. Many people have been upset to see that education, agriculture, and science programs don’t receive more of their money. I spent more money last night on a steak dinner for two than what NASA will receive from me this year,” exclaims Garcia.
The core of WhatWePayFor.com is a suite of analytical tools that organize the Federal Government budget data in a user-friendly way. Johnson and Garcia went through over 4,000 account line entries from the Government Printing Office. “We spliced and diced them in over 200,000 ways to create a tool that helps all of us understand the Federal Budget in hopes of encouraging more informed citizens who will, in turn, be empowered to get involved and influence their representatives. This is our website, and this is our vision.”