2009/04/06:The Capital Times: Let's shift military spending to helping the poor - Don Timmerman

Let's shift military spending to helping the poor
The Capital Times
Don Timmerman  —  4/06/2009 12:52 pm

Dear Editor: Wally Nelson, a longtime war tax resister, once said, "What would you do if someone came to your door with a cup in hand asking for a contribution to help buy guns to kill a group of people they didn't like?" Yet, millions of Americans do this by allowing the government to take their hard-earned money to kill those the government considers its enemies.

This year it will give 54 percent of each tax dollar to the military. Only 46 percent of each dollar will go toward education, health, environment, housing, general government funds, etc.

The U.S. accounts for 48 percent of the world's military spending -- more than the next 45 countries combined -- and is the top exporter of weapons to countries that use these to kill or maim their own citizens.

In the past eight years, U.S. military spending more than doubled. The U.S. continues to spend $12 billion a month in Iraq and will probably end up spending the same in Afghanistan, since the president has decided to send 17,000 more troops there. Only 0.15 percent of the U.S. GNP goes toward assisting the most needy in the world. Americans on average give 15 cents a day in government assistance to the world's poor while they spend $1,000 on the military.

My wife and I cannot, in conscience, give any money to the military because it leads to wars, suffering and misery. For this reason, we live below the taxable poverty level. If we have any extra money, it goes to those who lack the basics of life. It is time to say NO to the sacred cow, the U.S. military, and say YES to the often-neglected poor and destitute!

Don Timmerman
, Park Falls

Read the full editorial on the WNPJ blog here...