Home > Economy > Tax Day Penny Poll at Arcata Post Office

Tax Day Penny Poll at Arcata Post Office

[Press Release from Dave Meserve.]

On Monday, April 18, from 9:30AM to 5:00PM, in front of the Arcata post office, citizens will be holding their annual Tax Day Penny Poll.

Those wishing to participate will be given ten pennies to distribute among containers labeled with government programs (e.g. health, education, military, etc.) indicating what their choices would be for distribution of their tax dollars.  Information will be provided about the current breakdown of government discretionary spending and the 51% of tax dollars that currently go to the military.

Results of the Penny Poll will be made available the following day.

  1. April 18, 2011 at 9:13 am

    Also today:

    On Tax Day, Humboldt County Residents To Protest Corporate Tax Dodger Bank of America

    On Monday, April 18, Tax Day, Humboldt County residents will protest outside Bank of America and urge them to pay their fair share of taxes.

    The event is part of a nationwide Tax Day campaign called “Make Them Pay.” Events similar to the one in Humboldt County are taking place all over the country targeting “The Deadbeat Dozen”—GE, Bank of America, Google, BP, Amazon, Wells Fargo, Citigroup, Boeing, ExxonMobil, FedEx, Goldman Sachs, Chase—wealthy corporations that are doing everything in their power to avoid paying taxes in America.

    “During these difficult economic times, when all Americans are being asked to sacrifice, it is simply wrong that Bank of America is shirking their American duty to pay their taxes,” said Susana Munzell, coordinator for the Redwood Council of Moveon.org. “We are protesting on Tax Day because corporate tax dodgers have a responsibility to our community and our nation to pay their fair share. We pay our taxes. Bank of America should too.”

    WHAT: Make Them Pay Tax Day Protest
    WHO: MoveOn members
    WHERE: Bank of America, 4th and F Street, Eureka
    WHEN: 4:30 PM – April 18, 2011

  2. High Finance
    April 18, 2011 at 9:40 am

    Oh gee, Arcata.

    The tension is overwhelming, what will win ?

    BTW, the 51% of descretionary spending going to the military is a flat out LIE ! It is only done by counting SS, medicare and all handout government programs as non descretionary.

    April 18, 2011 at 9:48 am


    looking forward to receiving the results…..
    it will be nice if you can get more than one hundred persons to do it.

    best/good luck


  4. April 18, 2011 at 9:52 am

    Remember the meme: “We have plenty of money, We’re not broke, It’s just that THEY have all the money and it is up to us to TAKE IT” Get out your pitchforks and torches, you are being played. JPMorgan Chase may not be the target since Lerner was busted on tape but the game has been launched.

    Banks and the financial institutions are the current target. Richard is the willing conspirator. Do you know his end game?

  5. Mark Sailors
    April 18, 2011 at 9:53 am

    “descretionary” is not a word big guy, it is spelled discretionary…..

    SS, and Medicare are not discretionary, the military BLACK BUDGET for sure is. You know, the budget that no one is allowed to see. The United States Department of Defense has a black budget it uses to fund expenditures, called black projects, it does not want to disclose publicly. The annual cost of the United States Department of Defense black budget was estimated at $32 billion in 2008[1] but was increased to an estimated $50 billion in 2009. [2]
    We can also afford, as a nation to reduce our military budget to at least 1/2 of what it is now. Why do we need 50,000 troops in Germany? Why do we need troops in Japan? Are we an Empire? The founding fathers would cringe at that idea. Are we that beholding to the military industrial complex? Isn’t that the definition of Fascism?

    The 15 countries with the highest spending account for over 82% of the total;
    The USA is responsible for 46.5 per cent of the world total, distantly followed by the China (6.6% of world share), France (4.2%), UK (3.8%), and Russia (3.5%):

    [1] Broad, William J. (2008-04-01). “Inside the Black Budget”. The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-04-26.
    [2] Pentagon’s Black Budget Grows to More Than $50 Billion – Wired Magazine, May 2009

  6. Mark Sailors
    April 18, 2011 at 9:54 am

    That is military spending ONLY.

  7. Plain Jane
    April 18, 2011 at 10:24 am

    An extremely easy to read graph which compares 2009 defense spending by country:

    As you can see, the US is #1 in defense spending, almost 4 times as much as #2 (China) and almost as much as the total of the top 15 defense spenders in the world.

  8. April 18, 2011 at 10:26 am

    From a great patriot, United States Senator Bernie Sanders:

    THE ECONOMY: In the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression of the 1930s, the middle class is collapsing and poverty is increasing. Meanwhile, the people at the top are doing phenomenally well. The crooks on Wall Street whose greed precipitated this recession are now earning more money than before the American people bailed them out. The top one percent in our country now earn over 23 percent of all income, more than the bottom 50 percent. The U.S. today has by far the most unequal distribution of income and wealth of any major country on earth and the gap between the very rich and everyone else is growing wider. While “official” unemployment is at 9.8 percent, real unemployment is over 16 percent – being especially high for blue collar workers. Despite all of this the Republicans, whose campaigns are funded by some of the richest people and largest corporations in the country, want more tax breaks for the wealthy, more government deregulation, more unfettered free trade, more anti-union legislation and no more funding for unemployment benefits.

    To learn more about the lies we’re being told in order to unravel the social safety net that’s been in place for the last sixty year such as how the country is going bankrupt (which is impossible since we left the gold standard), read this excellent article by William Mitchell titled Beyond Austerity
    link: http://www.thenation.com/article/159288/beyond-austerity

  9. Plain Jane
    April 18, 2011 at 10:34 am

    Which is why Eisenhower warned us emphatically in his farewell address:

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist. We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.”

    So they bought out the media to dumb us down to remove the only (according to Eisenhower) tool to control them, an informed citizenry. The M-I complex was paying attention, too bad the people weren’t.

  10. Migh Finances Are Rosy
    April 18, 2011 at 10:47 am

    You people are liars, and if we had ANY proof, you bet we’d have used it, just like we could use one of your misspellings right now! We’re always nearby. Always. Please help us.

    Thank you.

  11. Bolithio
    April 18, 2011 at 10:52 am

    To me, if we took 10% off of military spending, and put it towards health care and education, we would be doing more for our national security by ensuring a healthy educated society that can freely lead in innovations.

  12. Plain Jane
    April 18, 2011 at 11:05 am

    Remember Obama’s idea to create a civil national defense program to educate more teachers, nurses, environmental workers, etc. to improve our communities? The right wing echo chamber took a few sentences out of context, posted edited videos of his speech everywhere and claimed that Obama was going to create a fascist paramilitary force to enslave the country. The right wing elite doesn’t want the general economy or our society to improve because economic crisis is more profitable for them with great opportunities to increase their share of the total wealth, their political and economic power. It’s working great for them.

  13. High Finance
    April 18, 2011 at 12:03 pm

    Not only does the spending on SS, Medicare and other like programs dwarf the amount of spending on defense, the trend is dramatic.

    And what would you want PJ & Sailor man, to let China’s military spending be larger than the US ? What the frack do you think would happen then ?

    And only Salzman would call the socialist Bernie Sanders a “great American”.

  14. Plain Jane
    April 18, 2011 at 12:19 pm

    I would like for the rest of the first world democracies to pay a larger share of the world’s security costs and for corporations and their owners to pay most of ours since they make the profits from it, gain political power from it via their massive funding of defense “friendly” legislators, and a large share of the defense budget is to protect their international business interests. Every other first world country, which spend a small fraction compared to the US, has universal health care and an almost seamless social safety net while we get ever increasing defense budgets and shredded safety nets and those who profit from the M-I get tax cuts.

  15. April 18, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    I called Bernie Sanders a patriot and he certainly is a great American. If only we had more with his courage in our government!

    What part of his quote don’t you agree with? That bankers are greedy or that the Republicans are financed by them? It’s just too bad that the Democrats won’t join him in taking a tougher stand against the monied interest.

    For anyone who has not yet seen the Academy Award winning documentary INSIDE JOB, I highly recommend it. A brilliantly done documentary and a pleasure to watch. …if not for how disturbing the indisputable facts it lays bare are.

  16. Plain Jane
    April 18, 2011 at 12:57 pm

    Unfortunately, Richard, the bankers finance far too many Democrats as well.

  17. High Finance
    April 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Bankers are no more greedy than you are Richard. Everybody is greedy and maxes out their income or profits or lifestyle to the best of their ability.

    Bankers “finance” both parties and elected politicians of both parties.

  18. Plain Jane
    April 18, 2011 at 1:28 pm

    And financing those elected politicians is the best way to max out their income or profits with the lowest tax rates in modern history. What a deal!

  19. April 18, 2011 at 2:07 pm

    Does anybody still remember that antiquated notion , what was it?, something about anti-monoply laws…
    Must have been those damn Socialists foisting such a thing on us.

    I think the poll would be more reflective of the people if it wasn’t only on the last day to file taxes. The “procrastinators” might not be relflective of the general population. Personally, I don’t mind paying my fair share of taxes. I don’t believe that government is free and I do believe without it we have only chaos and anarchy.

    Why do the rich always NEED to get richer? What will they be able to buy when they have it all? The only things left will be turnips and over-flipped burgers. The educated skilled craftsmen that would have produced nice things for the wealthy to buy will all be in the unemplyment lines or at the soup kitchen. Makes no sense at all.

  20. Plain Jane
    April 18, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    Do sociopaths ever make sense? What does it say about a culture which puts them on pedestals as role models and heroes?

  21. Mitch
    April 18, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Discretionary spending is the opposite of mandatory spending. Mandatory spending represents promises already made; discretionary spending is the only thing the President and Congress can negotiate about.

    HiFi, who would you like the government to break its promises to: those who have paid into Social Security expecting to receive income in retirement, those who have loaned the United States money by purchasing government debt, or the sick who need Medicaid or Medicare?

  22. April 18, 2011 at 3:54 pm

    And most workers who paid for their Medicare with their taxes. I’m self-employed and know first-hand about the Medicare tax.

  23. neomoderate
    April 18, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    We have the lowest tax rates in modern history )and the lowest tax rates of pretty much ANY first-world country), two (three?) wars a-running, and we’re running massive defecits. Coincidence? I think not! The Bush tax cuts were politicaly expedient, but one of the stupidest damn moves I’ve ever seen, closely followed by Arnie buying the election with the “car tax” nonsense that would halve our deficit were registration fees what they used to be.

    I’ve always thought that starting a war should mandate a war tax that pays for it as we go. That way it requires some real political capital (i.e. you’d better have a damn good reason) to send our kids to war.

  24. Mark Sailors
    April 18, 2011 at 4:09 pm

    “And what would you want PJ & Sailor man, to let China’s military spending be larger than the US ? What the frack do you think would happen then ?”

    They spend 6% we spend 46%.
    There is so much we can cut from defense without hurting our security it is not even funny. It will not happen because Conservatives are ruled by fear, and have a hard time grasping complex thought.


  25. tra
    April 18, 2011 at 5:33 pm

    I’ll second the nomination of Senator Bernie Sanders, Independent from Vermont, as a Great American.

    Whether you agree with all of his views or not, you’ve gotta respect the way he calmly and respectfully — but forcefully — makes his points. The guy knows how to marshal the facts, how to construct an argument, and how to deliver it — and he pulls no punches.

    For a recent example of Bernie in fine form, “tellin’ it like it is,” watch the video in this post:


    I’d love to see a debate on economic and tax issues, between Bernie Sanders and Sarah Palin. Of course her handlers would never allow it, because she’d look ridiculous (well, even more ridiculous than usual).

    And at the end of the day, Bernie’s still a pragmatist, who “does not let the perfect be the enemy of the good.” So he’ll vote for stuff that falls short of what he’s advocated for, as long as it’s significantly better than the alternative. But first he’ll clearly, forcefully point out the shortcomings of those less-than-perfect bills.

    Too bad it takes an Independent to speak the kind of truths that most national Democrats have either abandoned or are too timid and afraid of losing corporate funding to utter above a whisper.

  26. Charlie Bean
    April 18, 2011 at 5:49 pm

    Personally, I think more ought debate with Bernie. I bet if more took the time to challenge some of his ideas and points we may have a better system.

  27. Plain Jane
    April 18, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I’m a little worried about our friend, HiFi. Has anyone ever died from cognitive dissonance?

    Bernie Sanders is an American hero, speaking his truth brilliantly regardless of the scorn and insults from the right (every politician in office is to his right) incorruptible and brave. His constituents must prefer an honest representative whose views they may not agree with 100% to a crook who will say anything they want to hear.

  28. Mr. Nice
    April 18, 2011 at 8:02 pm

    To me, if we took 10% off of military spending, and put it towards health care and education, we would be doing more for our national security by ensuring a healthy educated society that can freely lead in innovations.

    This country already blows billions on health care and education. All we get out of it is corrupt rich people eating off working folks labor. The entire system is corrupt, so you’re talking about 10% from one corrupt part of the system to another. Like stealing from the Soviets to fund Bin Laden.

    Tell me what schools would do with all this money? Not teach propaganda? Naw, they’d throw it all away in two years and come back asking for more money. We’d end up with one crop of third graders who could speak Korean, billions in debt, and no competition for educational institutions at all.

    What we need is thousands of our dollars back every year. Let us spend our money on what we want. No military, no bullshit public schools, no shitty public health care, just our fucking money in our hands.

    April 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Mr. Nice,

    to the point and blunt real, but too many sheeple live in America, so we will both need to wait longer.

    Side Note: What kinda consideration should we give HealthCare considering that HealthCare is working opposite of natural selection and natural disasters. Mother Earth used to cull the population and keep it in check, but medicine for taxation ruined that. More sheeple vesus people in the end.


  30. Sinclair Lewis
    April 18, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    I did the survey. Was surprised that I didn’t have the option to choose ‘Haliburton’, ‘defense contractors’, ‘health insurance companies’ or ‘Wall St. Thieves’. Then they explained it was about what I wanted my tax money to go to, not where it actually goes.

  31. What Now
    April 19, 2011 at 11:53 am

    “High Finance says:
    April 18, 2011 at 1:01 pm
    Bankers are no more greedy than you are Richard. Everybody is greedy and maxes out their income or profits or lifestyle to the best of their ability.”
    Not True.
    Mere hyperbole and unfounded assertions.

    What a pethetic world view.

  32. Reinventing The Wheel
    April 19, 2011 at 12:43 pm

    Tyranny’s cheerleaders are correct.

    Most human beings seek to augment their personal empires; incomes, education, and health, to the extent possible.

    That’s why team-tyranny has successfully emaciated the social programs that built America’s middle class, while ignoring the excesses of capital and the larger public costs.

  33. High Finance
    April 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm

    As usual “What Now” posts without thinking. Even though he pushes for the maximum welfare check he can get and all the freebies our society has to offer.

    He thinks of himself as a pure and noble person and is blind to his own greed.

    But his greed does not make him unusual or a bad person. Just human.

    And despite Richard Salzman’s empty rhetoric and bankrupt ideas, greed runs his life also.

  34. What Now
    April 19, 2011 at 2:15 pm

    “High Finance says:
    April 19, 2011 at 1:12 pm
    As usual “What Now” posts without thinking. Even though he pushes for the maximum welfare check he can get and all the freebies our society has to offer.

    He thinks of himself as a pure and noble person and is blind to his own greed.

    But his greed does not make him unusual or a bad person. Just human.

    And despite Richard Salzman’s empty rhetoric and bankrupt ideas, greed runs his life also.”

    You’re simply pitiful, HiFried.
    With the exception of public education, roads and highways, the only “welfare” i’ve recieved was from uemployment aboy 12 years ago.
    Never thought of myself as “pure” or “noble”-“human” yes.
    Certainly several steps above your lower primate staure.

  35. Plain Jane
    April 19, 2011 at 2:26 pm

    Trying to smear people by accusing them of being on welfare only discredits you, HiFi, because you can’t possibly have any knowledge of a pseudonym’s source of income. Ditto for your claims that everyone is ruled by greed. What a pathetic person you must be to have no friends who aren’t fellow sociopaths.

  36. Hern Shadenfreude
    April 19, 2011 at 3:43 pm

    “HiFi” discredited? Pretty funny PJ…

    He gets what he wants here: sadistic provocation, and the much-anticipated punishment in return.

    Is it not enough to just observe and pity another sad fool believing the illusion of a world of “plenty” for the “deserving”, while the biggest welfare cheaters the world has ever known loot the U.S. Treasury, launch the world into financial collapse, rapidly extracting the Earth’s remaining resources with contempt for the environment and expendable child-labor….fully subsidized by the U.S. public’s military and courts…with the profits hidden in hundreds of subsidiary tax-shelters overseas? For their reward, the public receives poverty wage jobs and products so cheap and short-lived, it takes big box warehouses to maintain enough inventory.

    Do anomalies like “HiFi” actually believe that their nation will be the world’s first successful empire, that only their pathetic lifespan is what counts, or is it the more common human attribute that accompanies unbridled greed: the self-satisfaction knowing that others are suffering more than them?

    Extremely ignorant, or psychotic…it’s not a pretty choice.

  37. High Finance
    April 19, 2011 at 8:42 pm

    You two must be the dumbest posters posting here.

  38. What Now
    April 20, 2011 at 11:51 am

    All neuro scientific research in the last 40 years indicates that empaty is natural,fear and selfishness are learned behaviors.
    Brain imaging has shown that stroke and other brain trauma patients as well as psycopaths truly are incapable of empathy.
    Apparently the way of the true conservative mind is achieved by one of three ways;through conditioning (political spin doctors appeared on the scene with Ronald Reagan) or the military (self evident),brain damage,(see previous poster) or bad breeding (ibid).

  39. Mitch
    April 20, 2011 at 11:57 am

    “Bad breeding”

    Oh, that’s low!

  40. Hern Shadenfreude
    April 21, 2011 at 11:33 am

    Bereft of philosophy, research sources, and empathy, the wounded dog’s tricks are insufficient when intelligence is required.

    Pity on @ 8:42.

    “What Now” must have read the recent Mother Jones issue laying bare the millennium of big lies, from kings to presidents….

    p.s. : It’s Poor breeding, not “bad breeding”!

    Well done.

  41. What Now
    April 21, 2011 at 10:14 pm

    Sorry, Hern-haven’t read Mother Jones in years.
    Bunch of weak kneed yuppies.
    Thanks for the grammar lesson,good to know you’re on duty.
    Auf wiedersehen,

  42. wurking stiff
    April 22, 2011 at 3:36 pm

    why is it that rose always sounds like a crazy person ranting on the street

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