Protesters gathered in the Minnesota state capitol rotunda in April of 2010. (Fight Back! News/Kim DeFranco)
1. Tax Expenditures: $1.25 trillion
These subsidies from special deductions, exemptions, exclusions, credits, capital gains, and loopholes are estimated to be worth 7.4% of the GDP, or about $1.1 trillion. They largely benefit the richest taxpayers. Business subsidies bring the total to $1.25 trillion.
That alone is almost enough to pay for Social Security ($884 billion) and Medicare ($524 billion).
But there's so much more.
2. Tax Underpayments: $450 billion
According to the IRS, 17 percent of taxes owed were not paid in 2006, leaving an underpayment of $450 billion. The largest share of that came from underreporting of income.