Jess Bachman (of Bailout Nation and Death & Taxes fame)  does the most largest, most detailed visualization of a state budget ever. It is an 864 sq in poster comparing hundreds of programs and expenditures from the billions down to the thousands of dollars.

If you really want to see how a state (like Massachusetts) spends it’s tax payers money, this is it.

click for ginormous version

via JessNet

Category: Digital Media, Taxes and Policy

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

9 Responses to “Detailing State Budgets: Massachussetts”

  1. Johnny99 says:


    Not that this isn’t off-the-wall nuts all by itself, but I would love to see this compared to the budget of a well-known large corporation, such as BofA, Microsoft or Caterpillar. Not sure what we would find, but my guess is that even large, highly-profitable companies have a tendency to spend money like teenagers at the mall.

  2. DMR says:


    21 out of 29 billion of MA’s budget goes towards health and education. I’ve always wondered what teenagers buy at the mall these days.

  3. Johnny99 says:


    Thank you. But what’s your point?

  4. gd says:

    Regarding the presentation, a nice piece of graphic art.
    It’d be a great billboard in a T stop. It loses a bit on a 20″
    monitor. Regarding 21/29 for health and education– I guess one
    could argue that that is the point of the states– to allow the
    citizenry to choose the region with the priorities they share.
    Worked great 200 years ago, and maybe even 100 years ago. In a
    modern society where there’s simply a whole lot more health and
    education to deal with (that’s a good thing, please note), and one
    where it doesn’t take a week to travel from Philadelphia to Boston,
    not so much. Schools and education should be funded mostly federal,
    secondarily state, and not at all locally. The country is being
    crippled by reactionaries living in the past.

  5. Greg0658 says:

    wowX2 .. that is some graphic … not much interested in MA but I can fathom that IL would be somewhat similar with a budget of $25B

    seems the gravy in these local markets is to get some of that on your potatoes …. bouncing around that graph I was left wondering if those millions and point millions actually add up to $29B – or if they feed into each other* – I was raised a tradesman – a get your hands (& lungs) dirty guy … post them days I’m just now getting a hand on these money pile pushing papercut schemes

    * – as long as cash doesn’t exit the system it retains its juicyness .. import 1 dollar more than you export

  6. Greg0658 says:

    ps – just what do the 12 FedResBank sectors do for our country .. do they actually work at something? Or kneel to the NYC Financial Capital of the World who calls the shots for us all?

  7. Kris Dannon says:

    Something even more fascinating than the Mass Commonwealth poster is a poster of the entire US Federal budget also produced by Bachman. A real work of art that provides full detail of the specific costs of every department in the Federal government, that we would all be well to know regarding the debt ceiling fiasco. It is remarkably easy to browse for information on all kinds of things you’re paying for (in 100% magnified clarity) using a computer mouse to move anywhere and thumb-wheel to magnify whatever one desires.

    Jeff has also thoughtfully placed a section in the lower left corner of the Federal budget poster where one can easily calculate exactly how much the US government gets from each of us (to fund any program or department) based on our annual salary. (OMB has provided trustworthy numbers).

    For example I found the Joint Strike Fighter funded through the Dept of the Navy will take about $3.50 from me in 2011. A top secret program called Retract Maple will get about a buck. And the salaries of all 535 House and Senate members (indolent, uninformed, wasteful recipients of unearned payraises) will be requiring a total of about $7 of my Federal taxes this year.

    As expected each department icon occupies an area relative to the portion of the Federal budget it draws.

    To perview this intriguing poster :

    1) Click on the above Mass Commonwealth poster for the ginormous version.
    2) Scroll to the bottom of the page and click on the link labeled ‘ ‘
    3) You’ll now see the Federal Government’s Death and Taves 2011 poster.
    4) Expand the poster to occupy your monitor’s full raster (use X-icon found in upper right of screen).
    5) Magnify the poster as desired (mouse thumb-wheel works well for this). It takes a second to provide full detail. Move anywhere on the poster using your mouse pointer and magnify the graphics and text as desired using the thumb-wheel. You’ll find it most interesting.

    Would quite likely make a great gift for any budget hawks you may know.

  8. Alternatively, you could click on the link in the first paragraph of the post titled Death & Taxes

  9. [...] See here. Hat tip: Barry Ritholtz. [...]