This is historical material “frozen in time”. The website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.

Search form

What $40 Means to Americans Across the Country

More than 30,000 people from all 50 states told us how losing $40 with each paycheck would affect them or their families if Congress fails to extend the payroll tax cut.

If the House of Representatives fails to extend the payroll tax cut in the next nine days, the typical family making $50,000 a year will have about $40 less to spend or save with each paycheck. Over the year, that adds up to about $1,000. 

Opponents of the payroll tax cut dismissed its impact by insisting $40 isn’t a lot of money. We know that's not the case for many families who are already working hard to make ends meet, so on Tuesday, we asked them: What does $40 mean to you?

The response was overwhelming: more than 30,000 people have submitted responses through since Tuesday afternoon, and thousands more tweeted what $40 meant to them with the hashtag #40dollars. Responses came from all over the country and all 50 states, as represented on the map here. We’ve called out the stories of just a few of the many, many people who told us that losing $40 each paycheck would have serious consequences for them and their families.

You can read more here and here, and also on Storify. And don't forget to share your own story here, or tell us on Twitter with the hashtag #40dollars.