Change national priorities – Tax DayPublished on April, 52 2016
By Odile Hugonot Haber
WILPF branches around the country will join in Days of Action from April 15 to 18 as part of a worldwide protest against military expenditures. Weapons will not fix climate change; we need urgently to change our national priorities.
Joan Brannigan reports that the St. Louis Branch will demonstrate and hand out the War Resisters League pie chart during the lunch hour in the county seat on April 15, The Raging Grannies and Greater Philadelphia Branch will distribute the WILPF Great Day posters. San Jose CA branch joins the Friday Peace Vigil to sing and hand out fliers.
April 15 is usually tax day and a large portion of our taxes goes to military spending. This year the 18th is Tax Day in the USA, a traditional moment in the calendar for civil society to challenge how the public money is used.
The United States federal government expects to spend $3.8 trillion dollars in 2015 – that sounds like a lot of money, and it is. That’s about $12,000 for each woman, man and child living in the United States. It’s also about 21 percent of the entire United States economy. Our government bombs Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Yemen, develops our US drone program by leaps and bounds.
While we lay water pipes and build road in Iraq or Afghanistan, our water pipes here in the US are crumbling and we need to rebuild our infrastructure at home. We need to convert our economy.
“Budgets are moral documents” and “The national budget represents the resources of the people of United States.”(The Women’s Budget by Jane Midgley)
Global action on military expenditures
“We are writing to encourage you to join activists across the US and internationally in this year’s Global Days of Action on Military Spending (GDAMS). The protests are timed to coincide with release of the annual world military expenditure figures by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI).
The Pentagon has inflated its budget request to nearly $600 billion, including $58.8 billion for its “overseas contingency operations” – wars - and to quadruple spending for war preparations in Eastern Europe. In the coming years, our government is planning to spend $1,000,000,000,000 to modernize its nuclear arsenal and its delivery systems, a small fraction of which could bring on nuclear winter. The new F-35 fighter/bombers are set to cost $1,500,000,000,000 over their “lifetime.”
In addition to encouraging and fueling the catastrophic destruction of wars, this spending claims and truncates lives without a shot being fired, a bomb dropped or a missile launched.
Global military spending has surged to an all-time high of more than $1.75 trillion. Given the numerous needs and crises in the US and internationally – water that’s not poisoned, reversing and coping with climate change, the basics of food, housing, education and medical care – it is clear that our, and many other nations’, national budget priorities are seriously wrong and dangerous.” (From Joseph Gershon AFSC)
Call your Congressional representative.