Kat Downs, Laura Stanton and Karen Yourish of The Washington Post look at the tax breaks from the 1970s to 2011 in an interactive.
The U.S. government gives away more than $1 trillion a year in tax breaks — subsidies for individuals and companies that are often substitutes for direct government spending.
Once written into the tax code, they tend to stick around.
Each stripe represents a tax break, and height represents the value of the break in 2011. Interaction is key here, which lets you select categories such as education and health and mouse over breaks for more information. The chart above is also linked with a time series, which provides an alternative view to the same data.