Friday, April 4, 2008

Our Money is Off to War

By Randy Schutt
(687 words)

A longer version of this article, with detailed references and four graphs (also available), is posted on Daily Kos

Massive federal deficits, not enough money for social programs. Where have all our tax dollars gone?

In Fiscal Year (FY) 2007, $549 billion --or 52.7% of discretionary federal funds --went to the military. Discretionary funds exclude expenditures for Social Security, Medicare, and federal highways since these programs are paid from dedicated taxes maintained in separate trust funds, as well as interest paid on the national debt which is not "discretionary." Discretionary funds are derived from our income taxes, corporation taxes, excise taxes, and estate taxes.

In the current year (FY2008), military spending is estimated to be $604 billion -- an unprecedented expenditure. This represents an average of about $5,300 from each household. Military spending in inflation-adjusted dollars is now 58% greater than in FY2000, greater than at any time during the Cold War, and even greater than during the peak spending years of the Vietnam War and the Korean War.

(to examine the full text for possible publication, contact us).

Randy Schutt is Vice-President of Cleveland Peace Action and author of Inciting Democracy: A Practical Proposal for Creating a Good Society.

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