One of the biggest debates right now is about money, your money, and the best way the government should spend it.
For most of us though, in order to understand something, you need to see it.
So we’re going to hit the road to test out a new app for your smart phones. It’s called open the books.
It reads your GPS, or you can type in any zip code in the United States, and what it does is tells you how federal tax dollars are being spent five, 15, 25 and 50 miles from where you are.
So if for example you type in 21162, you see that 3.6 million dollars was given to the Adoption Exchange Association for infant adoption awareness training.
Also, $200 million dollars for the Baltimore Gas and Electric Company.
The app is the brainchild of Adam Andrzejewski who’s been traveling the country and speaking about what he hopes it achieves.
“We want to put ten million eyes on the government spending,” explained Andrezejewski.
He sat down with some young people in Washington D.C. to break down how it works.
“if you click this button then it summarizes the last 12 years of grants into your city,” the founder told those who had gathered.
Lauren Bouton is from a rural town in Arizona and was shocked to learn that in 2009 a tiny municipal airport got a 4.4 million dollar federal grant.
“I don’t think I’ve met one person who has used the airport there ever,” Bouton stated.
Caroline Phelps grew up just outside of the nation’s capitol where for some reason, hundreds of thousands of dollars in farm subsidies were given.
“I have no idea where a farm would even be,” chuckled Phelps.
Yet there are tens of thousands of dollars going to agriculture subsidies in Northern VA.
For Andrezejewski, the issue is both political and personal.
“Problems have existed on both sides of the aisle and those problems have to be reigned in,” he stated. “The waste, the taxpayer abuse and legal but stupid spending, that spending needs to stop.”
Most people have an opinion about how federal tax dollars could and should be spent. This app shows you how they are spent.
If enough people start to use Open the Books, who knows, it may be just the tool taxpayers need to start holding their elected officials accountable.
The Open the Books app just came out a few months ago.
It’s a free download for the Apple iPhone as well as smart phones that use the Android operating system.