The NYT has a very nice (in substance, not appearance) chart on per person spending on a wide variety of government programs. readers would find that the military budget costs us $1,802 per person, Medicare $1,591, and Head Start $27. I was disappointed not to see TANF mentioned, which I would eyeball at around $55 per person and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting at around $1.50 per person.

Anyhow, it is great to see this chart, but this should be the standard way to express budget numbers, not something special for holidays. This is providing readers with information. Telling readers that we are projected to spend $8.1 trillion on Medicare over the next decade is just a silly fraternity ritual that budget reporters like to do. It is not informing readers.