March 31, 2013 in Letters, Opinion

War costs misunderstood

 

President Barack Obama’s 2014 federal budget allocates 47 percent of income taxes collected for the U.S. military, or 47 cents on each dollar to pay for current and past military expenses. Veterans’ benefits are $146 billion of past expenses, while interest payments are $421 billion, an estimated 80 percent created by military spending.

While told frequently about veterans being shortchanged, what’s seldom reported is they’re a distant second priority to paying interest on debt from past wars. These figures don’t include Social Security benefits, paid by separate tax into a trust fund. Since the Vietnam War, the federal government has deceptively merged both income and Social Security funds into one unified budget, where a pie chart shows that national defense, veterans and foreign affairs only cost taxpayers 24 cents on the dollar.

America’s biggest jobs program is education. Spending $1 billion creates 27,000 jobs, but the same money spent on the military creates only 11,000 jobs. Even when the Pentagon doesn’t want new weapons systems, politicians with private contractors greedily turn our country into the No. 1 arms dealer in the world.

When do we educate our children about the cost of the United States’ imperialist wars?

Chuck Armsbury

Colville

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