Thursday, April 7, 2011

Time to let your elected officials know how you want your taxes spent...

Are you sick of the Pentagon receiving the biggest slice of the federal budget pie? Do you feel education and social service should not be starved, while the war makers fatten? Check out this "pie chart" created by the kids of Palo Alto Meeting. This was a wonderful way to convey to kids (and adults) just as misguided our budget priorities are in the United States. The biggest slice went to the Pentagon (30%) while the smallest slices went to Labor (3%) and Veterans (4%). Education got 10%--hardly enough for someone on Weight Watchers.

You can find a more conventional pie-chart, with some concrete steps about what you can do to shift America's budget priorities at and

There is a movement among Quakers here in California to "pay under protest" their income tax and to write letters to their elected officials letting them know how we feel about the misguided budget priorities in DC. Here's the letter I sent out this week to President Obama, Senators Boxer and Feinstein, and my Representative Karen Bass:

Dear Mr President,

I am paying my taxes under protest this year because I am appalled that  taxes for the rich are being cut, and most big multinational corporations pay less taxes than average Americans, and in many instances pay nothing at all. For example, between 2007-09, the countryĆ¢€™s top five companies (by market capitalization) have paid between 4.5% and 25.8% in taxes--far less than the average middle class tax payer.

While big corporations and the rich are given tax breaks, social services for the poor and middle class are being slashed, and the military budget is being treated like a sacred cow.

Our bloated military budget is sucking all the resources from the social services, education, r and d, and infra-structure development that Americans desperately need if we are going to continue to be a first-rate nation.

That's why I am paying my taxes under protest. I want my tax dollars invested in schools, green jobs, energy conservation, parks, libraries, etc. I want the rich to pay their fair share of taxes, and for big corporation to pay what they owe.

Yours in friendship,

Anthony Manousos


  1. Did you make the pie? And what is the source?

    1. Members of Palo Alto Friends Meeting make the pies. Annually.