Ohio Tax Day Events Highlight Military Spending
COLUMBUS, Ohio - On this Tax Day, many people in Ohio and around the nation will reflect on how Uncle Sam is spending their hard-earned tax dollars. Greg Coleridge, executive director, American Friends Service Committee of Northeast Ohio, says 57 percent of all U.S. discretionary dollars go to the Pentagon.
Coleridge is adamant that it's time to move money from wars and weapons and fund jobs and public services that are needed in communities.
"A disproportionate percentage of our tax dollars ends up going to fund military weapons systems, military bases and military philosophies that simply are either outdated, or unnecessary, or wasteful," Coleridge says.
In conjunction with a Global Day of Action on Military Spending, events will be held today in Akron and Cleveland to educate taxpayers about federal budget spending.
Coleridge says the United States accounts for 37 percent of the world's military spending, allocating more than the 13 next biggest spenders on the list.
"Many of those other nations are allies, so it just seems completely wasteful and inefficient and immoral to be spending the amount of billions of dollars that we do funding the Pentagon," he says.
With the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down, there should be more investments in education, health care and other human services vital to strong communities, Coleridge says, adding that people in other countries are favorable to taxes, because they see the benefits of their tax dollars at work.
"Down the road, what comes back are things like good, solid, free public education or fully funded health care from cradle to grave, and roads, and bridges and public transportation systems."
According to the National Priorities Project, the average Ohioans spent $8,800 in federal income tax in 2013, with the largest percentage going to the military.