What Your Taxes Buy

My new book due out next month shows how most Americans find their lifetime income divided into thirds that break down like this:

  • 1/3 to taxes spent mostly in ways that do not benefit them, such as bank bailouts and bombs
  • 1/3 spent on everything your taxes should provide, but don’t
  • 1/3 left over, which is all you have to use for becoming wealthy

Evidence supporting that theory, along with everything else shown in the book about the way corporations run government while citizens are deluded into studying issues in ways that don’t consider how those corporations profit, appears almost daily. I’ve begun tracking it in an update document that will complement the book, which I’ll unveil publicly when the book debuts.

For now, consider the following from the ArmyTimes, showing how the military-industrial complex has succeeded beyond their wildest dreams in concocting the perfect war situation: no defined goal, therefore never-ending, and able to run in a way that doesn’t change the daily lives of most citizens. The spending, however, continues unabated. The article is dated May 17:

For the next “five to 10 years,” the military likely will remain engaged in the same kinds of conflicts it has been fighting since 2001, said Marine Corps Gen. James Cartwright.

The vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs on Thursday told a conference in Washington that “no one I know thinks we’ll be out of” these kinds of conflicts any time soon.

“There is nothing out there that tells us we won’t be wrapped up in these conflicts for as far as the eye can see,” Cartwright said at the Center for Strategic and International Studies-sponsored forum.

Right, because wrapped up as far as the eye can see is what you become when your mission is bringing democracy to people who don’t want it. The mission is doomed to fail, but is guaranteed to cost lives and, more germane to why it’s really happening, lots of money. The only ones who benefited from the wars of the past several decades were the corporations that supplied them and profited off taxpayer dollars. Meanwhile, what’s the state of America’s health care system, educational system, energy system, and infrastructure?

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  1. Posted August 14, 2010 at 4:06 pm | Permalink
  2. Haris
    Posted May 21, 2010 at 5:02 am | Permalink

    The solution to that will be a war tax. If the country engages at war, automatically there should be a war tax applied to everyone. This solves two problems: first the war is paid for and doesn’t add to the national dept and second, everybody will notice and evaluate whether his/her country should be at war.

    Similarly, budget deficits should not be allowed (when the national dept exceeds a certain level) and the difference should be paid by taxes or programs reduction. Again, this will take care of the deficits and people will pay more attention where their money are going.

    Unfortunately, no one in Washington has the guts to do either of the above. It is time to pay the Bank of China credit card.

    • Posted May 21, 2010 at 6:37 am | Permalink

      I agree. Making it easy to ignore the lost lives and enormous cost of constant war is one way that corporations keep the game going. Nobody in Washington will ever have the guts to change this, because changing it would result in them losing their jobs when their lobby checks disappear. Politicians constantly talk of change, but never deliver it. For instance, presidents Bush and Obama couldn’t be more different personally or ideologically, but their policies are almost identical. Obama was sure to ramp up the Afghanistan war before tiptoeing into ramping down the Iraq war. Gotta have a war somewhere, after all.

      What’s discouraging to me is that this has gone on so long that people don’t even mind the patently thin reasons given for being at war. There isn’t one shred of evidence justifying either the Afghanistan or Iraq war. The first started as a manhunt for Bin Laden, then morphed into building a democracy when Bin Laden was let go from Tora Bora at the end of 2001. The latter started as a hunt for weapons of mass destruction, then morphed into nation building when no WMD were found.

      Even though the ostensible reasons for starting the wars vaporized in a hurry, the wars have now become our longest ever, and life goes on as if the absurdity weren’t thick as tar.

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