Imagine what would happen if all citizens could spend taxes their own way. It did happen in Greenbelt, just for last Saturday, as part of the Labor Day Festival Information Day. The "Penny Poll" on the federal budget, featured at the exhibit of Prince George's County Peace & Justice Coalition, invited visitors to parcel out ten pennies- standing for their taxes- among nine jam jars representing slices of the federal budget pie. We sponsors of the poll are part of the growing grassroots campaign "Fund Our Communities - Bring War Dollars Home." Its aim is to shift some of the huge and little-examined military allotment to other ways to build national security, such as supporting the environment, economy and the general welfare.
We figure the year's Labor Day Festival isn't over until the results of the Penny Poll are heard. So here they are, with a big thank you to the sixty-some table visitors who voted for their personal federal-budget priorities.
Military current operations- 5%
Central government administration- 5%
Veterans' benefits- 8%
Civilian space exploration- 9%
Transportation, commerce, housing- 9%
National debt payment- 10%
Social Security and other income supplements- 12%
Agriculture, energy, natural resources- 17%
Health care, education, human services- 25%
For comparison, the military slice gets nearly thirty percent of the proposed official FY2013 federal budget.
Source: http://www.warresisters.org/node/1325. See also New Priorities Network's take on the budget at http://newprioritiesnetwork.org.