Letter to the Editor
Wally Nelson, a long-time 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 each year by allowing the government to take their hard-earned money and give it to the military to kill those whom the government considers its enemies. In fact, this year it will give 54% of each tax dollar or $1,449 billion to the military. (War Resisters League) Only 46% of each dollar will go toward education, health, the environment, housing, general government funds, etc.
The U.S. accounts for 48% of the world's total military spending, more than the next 45 countries combined, and is the number one exporter of weapons to countries that use these to kill or maim their own citizens. Even though Israel's per capita income is as high as many in European countries, and continues to abuse the human rights of the Palestinians, the recent U.S. budget request includes $2.775 billion in military aid for Israel.
In the past 8 years the 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% of the U.S. GNP goes toward assisting the most needy in the world. Americans on average give 15 cents a day in gov. 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 so many. For this reason we continue to 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! On April 4th, we remember the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. who said, "A nation that continues to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death." Henry Ford once said, "Show me who makes a profit from war, and I'll show you how to stop the war." Dwight D. Eisenhower once said, "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed." Former Sec. Of State Alexander Haig once said, "Let them march all they want (against war) just as long as they pay their taxes."
Rev. Don Timmerman