V.5 Death and Taxes 2009

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Jess Bachman

This map by graphic designer Jess Bachman is a depiction of the federal discretionary budget compiled by the Office for Management and Budget and released by the White House each February. Thousands of pages of raw data are boiled down to the most open and accessible record of our nation’s spending. It is a uniquely revealing look at our national priorities that fluctuate yearly according to the wishes of the president, the power of Congress, and the will of the people. Over 500 programs and departments and almost every program that receives over $200 million annually are shown using a hierarchical tree map. Each node’s size is proportional to the size of funding it receives. This allows the viewer to quickly compare and contrast levels of spending and to easily identify government priorities. In addition to spending levels, percentage data is included to show an increase or decrease of funding in response to priorities for that current year. The poster was designed so that viewers could form their own opinions and derive their own answers—especially those that may differ from political rhetoric.


Bachman, Jess. 2011. Death and Taxes: 2011. Accessed August 29, 2011. http://www.wallstats.com/deathandtaxes/.

Bachman, Jess. 2009. Death and Taxes 2009. Courtesy of http://wallstats.com. In “5th Iteration (2009): Science Maps for Science Policy-Makers,” Places & Spaces: Mapping Science, edited by Katy Börner and Elisha F. Hardy. http://scimaps.org.

Acknowledgements: This exhibit is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. IIS-0238261, CHE-0524661, IIS-0534909 and IIS-0715303, the James S. McDonnell Foundation; Thomson Reuters; the Cyberinfrastructure for Network Science Center, University Information Technology Services, and the School of Library and Information Science, all three at Indiana University. Some of the data used to generate the science maps is from the Web of Science by Thomson Reuters and Scopus by Elsevier. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.