Tax Day Penny Poll Finds Federal Budget Priorities Do Not Align with Participating Taxpayers

Press release from Dave Meserve:

On Saturday, April 13, two days before Tax Day, we conducted the annual Penny Poll at the Arcata Farmers Market. It is usually in front of the US Post Office, but in this electronic age, people rarely mail their tax returns any more. About 165 people voted by distributing ten pennies among ten containers labeled to represent major government programs. By choosing where they want their federal tax dollars to go, they also inform the community about their priorities.

The graph of the Penny Poll votes by Humboldt County taxpayers looks like an inverted image of the federal government priorities.  The federal budget allocates over 55% of our discretionary budget tax dollars to the military, and a total of 27% to Education, Health, Environment, Housing and Social Services.  This year, people chose to give only 4% to the military and 76% of their taxes to those five programs.

The Penny Poll is carried out every year on tax day, in communities across the country. While results vary slightly from city to city, the Poll consistently shows broad consensus for a federal budget that addresses people’s basic needs, and the environment, rather than pouring funds into war and the military industrial complex.

screenshot of tax poll

tax day table in field

screenshot of tax poll

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18 Comments
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Yabut
Guest
Yabut
1 month ago

What silliness. Does anyone want more of their tax dollars to go to no environment? No education? No housing? No health? I suppose there’s always some in delusional Arcatans who think no money should be spent for military but otherwise its a poll where the agenda spins the candidates. What is discretionary money anyway…

It’s all in the details- like almost three fourths of the budget goes to mandatory spending for things like education, heath, housing, social services, etc already,

D'Tucker Jebs
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Yabut

You’ve stated you opinion.
Clearly it differs from the majority of the people who participated in the poll.
I would, however, be curious to see a similar survey conducted in other areas.

Yabut
Guest
Yabut
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

There was no such thing as a “majority” participating. A 100% of those who participated did just that- participated. If they thought it was silly, they would not have participated. As 165 people out of the likely thousands who came through the market participated, it is therefore reasonable that the majority shared my opinion about its silliness. At least enough not to bother with it.

D'Tucker Jebs
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Yabut

“the majority of the people who participated”
I never said this was a comprehensive survey.
You seem to have this habit of changing people’s words in order to have something to disagree with.
That doesn’t seem very honest.

Yabut
Guest
Yabut
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

It’s more likely that words have been used without seeing where they inevitably led. You’re right it’s not at all comprehensive as polls go. And with “questions” that are not questions but are designed to promote the poll takers agenda? Then to report the results as meaningful? Well, silly, silly and silly.
But I do agree with one part of your comment because it’s true. It’s my opinion.
BTW if you read to the bottom, you would have the answer to what interested you- they report that the results of their setup “poll” ” vary slightly from city to city” but unsurprisingly “shows broad consensus for a federal budget that addresses people’s basic needs, and the environment, rather than pouring funds into war and the military industrial complex” as it is designed to do. It’s totally a publicity stunt. And again a silly one.

Permanently on Monitoring
Guest
Permanently on Monitoring
1 month ago

Senior Citizens are starving in the USA…

The AVERAGE Social Security “Benefit” paid per recipient is $1767/month, yet if that recipient is married, and both persons receive about $2750/month, and they have some savings, maybe a rental, and IRA’s, they will be taxed at about 10% of whatever they make over about $70,000!

You are damned if you worked and saved, and starved if you didn’t, and there is no relief…

The USA literally created 6 trillion dollars, during COVID, and basically wasted it all, just to keep the Stock Market from crashing!

As Econ 1A will tell us, when you increase the money supply, inflation will result, followed by recession…

Our government is engaged in “fine tuning” it’s own corruption, for the benefit of the rich, and the “middle class”, whatever is left of it, is simply screwed…

Electing puppets like Biden and/or Mobbed-up Crooks like Trump, makes no difference, because the “Government” only cares about the enrichment of the elected, and not the citizens of the country!

Charging the elderly, for having saved their salaries and having invested in the “Markets”, is unconscionable, and my “Penny Votes” would all go into “reordering taxation among the expanding wealthy classes”, who mostly don’t pay taxes at all…

Taxing those who paid the bills for their entire lives, and who now have to live off their savings, is disgusting, immoral and outrageous.

Remember, Medicare isn’t free, and retired people have no “write-offs”, and when you die, your partner will be left with only the higher-benefited person’s SS, and will lose their own, so I hope you all saved and invested, because in 10 years, you won’t be able to afford your life…

Yabut
Guest
Yabut
1 month ago

Really? Considering that overweight is a problem for about half of the senior population, starving seems hyperbole at best. This smells more like tax day hangover than reality.

Permanently on Monitoring
Guest
Permanently on Monitoring
1 month ago
Reply to  Yabut

So if they are obese, tax their savings interest?

You are talking about health, I am talking about fair taxation…

Save some money today, you might be starving yourself, one day…

Yabut
Guest
Yabut
1 month ago

Nonsense. I only addressed your opening salvo that “Senior Citizens are starving in the USA…” as the hyperbole it is.

Festus Haggins
Guest
Festus Haggins
1 month ago

Looks like we could save a wad of money in the military department by keeping our nose in our own business instead of international affairs.

Jeffersonian
Guest
Jeffersonian
1 month ago

The federal military budget is nowhere near 65 percent.

D'Tucker Jebs
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  Jeffersonian

Nowhere does the article say that the military budget is 65% of spending.
In their press release, they claim it is at 55% of discretionary spending if you include Ukraine and Israel, Nukes, and Black Ops. That math adds up.
The bar graph at the bottom puts it around 47% of discretionary spending without those inclusions. That matches what the Congressional Budget Office states.
I’m not sure why the middle chart has it at 61%.
That number isn’t mentioned anywhere else in the press release.

jimmy2shoes
Guest
jimmy2shoes
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

The irony is all these people voted for politicians who have supported sending billions upon billions to Ukraine, and most, if not all, would support sending more billions there if the straw poll had been worded that way. 

D'Tucker Jebs
Member
1 month ago
Reply to  jimmy2shoes

I’m OK with the money to Ukraine.
They are actually under attack.
It’s the over $800 billion for our own military that is unjustifiable.
Nobody has even threatened our sovereignty for more than 200 years.

Griffon
Guest
Griffon
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

Yep this country is extra safe! And please do cite peer reviewed research that says our sovereignty hasn’t been threatened. I guess WWII Pearl Harbor was just a dance party?

Griffon
Guest
Griffon
1 month ago
Reply to  Griffon

Why is this country safe “ish”

Yes why is that. Couldn’t possibly be that military spending right.

jimmy2shoes
Guest
jimmy2shoes
1 month ago
Reply to  D'Tucker Jebs

The billions in investments in technology over the years have put us in a position to help a country like Ukraine. You can’t stand that technology up in a few months (or years, or even decades) “once your sovereignty is threatened”. I’m sure there’s plenty of waste – as with all branches in government – but it’s ignorance to claim you, everyone else in this country, and everyone else in the world hasn’t benefited from the stability our military advances have provided. No one has threatened our sovereignty very explicitly in the last 50 years, (did you forget the cold war when nukes were pointed at us? Or the second world war somehow when submarines were prodding our coastline?) it’s obviously only because we have invested in technology that could wipe them out at the push of a button. Truly an ignorant comment on the 200 years.

Farce
Guest
Farce
1 month ago
Reply to  jimmy2shoes

That’s what he does. Specially extracts and curates the parts he wants to believe and then presents them as the fact. Unfortunately many people do this. Just in his case he has a need to broadcast daily his propaganda…