*and it’s OUR money.
During the past month, Engaging Peace has offered a number of perspectives on the financial aspects of war. Some highlights:
- The true costs of war are difficult to determine because of the intricacies of federal budgeting and accounting, as well as the use of deficit spending
- Some of the financial impacts of war will occur in the future, due to veterans’ benefits and social costs to families of returning service people
- Aside from the direct costs, war has a generalized negative effect on the economy, as seen in fewer jobs, increased debt, diversion of money from health care, education, environment, and other domestic needs
- War tax resistance is a method that some have used to protest the funding of war by tax dollars
Despite the challenges of determining the accurate costs of war, totals for the Iraq war alone are estimated to be as high as $4-6 trillion.
You might wonder who is paying the taxes that support the war machine. It’s ordinary people like you and me–and not the most wealthy or the corporations that often profit from war efforts.
As an outgrowth of the Occupy Wall Street movement, a number of groups across the U.S. are calling attention to inequities in our tax structure–specifically the low tax rates paid by the 1%. For example, in Boston, a Tax Day march and rally on April 17 will be based on the message “Corporations and the 1%: Pay your taxes! Fund our communities!” Minneapolis, San Francisco, and other communities have also focused attention on these disparities.
The world economy is hurting. The pocketbooks and bank accounts of ordinary citizens are hurting. We feel it especially during tax season in the midst of what feels like a never-ending recession.
How to ease the pain and start the money flowing again? The answer is clear: Stop the wars.
Pat Daniel, Ph.D., Managing Editor of Engaging Peace