Senator Richard Lugar
US Senate
Washington, D.C. 20510
Dear Senator Lugar:

The results of our Tax Day Poll at the Elkhart Post Office reveal that the priorities of our citizens would direct far more of the budget to life, far less to death, than the way Congress now spends our money. These results are consistent with results over the past several years. In addition, there was a new message from the taxpayers this year - the growing deficit is perceived as a danger, and they want you to work to reduce the national debt.

When we began this polling in the late 1990’s, we offered people a choice of six categories, and we gave each person ten pennies to distribute among jars with these labels: Arts, Environment, Housing & Health Care, International Aid, Military, Scientific Research. Very quickly the public demanded another jar for their pennies: Education. We pointed out that education is primarily funded through local and state taxes, and they insisted: we want the government to put more resources toward education. We added that category, and every year that has been the top priority in our poll.

The results of this poll have been consistent year to year, but the surprise this year was that again we were pressured by the public to add another category: Reducing the Debt! At the end of the day, after 325 people had voted, this is how they would ask you to redistribute the budget:

  • Education 29%
  • Housing & Healthcare 18%
  • Military 15%
  • Environment 10%
  • Reduce the Debt 9%
  • Scientific Research 9%
  • International Aid 5%
  • Arts 5%

We encourage you to take to heart the concerns of the citizens of Elkhart County as you develop national spending priorities and allocate federal funds. The people want more for Education, Housing and Health Care, far less for the military, and they want you to stop increasing the national debt!


Rich Meyer • Christian Peacemaker Teams • Northern Indiana