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Do You Know Where Your Federal Tax Dollars are Going?

PHOTO: Do you know how many pennies out of each dollar you pay in taxes goes to military spending? The American Friends Service Committee wants Missourians to get the facts about military spending. Photo: morgueFile.com (Cohodra)
PHOTO: Do you know how many pennies out of each dollar you pay in taxes goes to military spending? The American Friends Service Committee wants Missourians to get the facts about military spending. Photo: morgueFile.com (Cohodra)
April 15, 2014

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Tax Day is here, and in the midst of the rush to meet Uncle Sam's deadline, one group wants Missourians to take some time to think about exactly where their tax dollars are going.

Mary Zerkel, "Wage Peace Campaign" co-coordinator, American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), said many basic human needs are going unmet across the country due to what she called a "disproportionate" amount of military spending by the federal government.

"Let's stop these budget gimmicks. Let's stop all this wasted money. Let's start moving that money from spending it on wars and huge expensive weapons systems, and instead use it to start funding things that we need for true security in our communities," Zerkel urged.

In addition to being tax day, today is the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. Rallies will take place around the country and across the globe. In Kansas City, AFSC has organized a vigil calling for an increase in non-military investments. It is scheduled for 5 p.m. at 63rd St. and Ward Parkway. More information is available at http://demilitarize.org/.

Zerkel said Americans have the right and responsibility to question whether their tax dollars are being appropriately allocated. With 57 percent of the federal discretionary budget going to the military, there simply isn't enough left to properly care for the nation and its people, she added.

"After a decade plus of war and the huge amounts of money that we put into the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, trillions of dollars in fact, people are looking at the state of their communities now and the disinvestment we have in the needs of our communities," she said.

While military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan have been winding down, she noted, military spending has not decreased accordingly. It's estimated that, in 2012, global military spending amounted to $1.75 trillion dollars.

Mona Shand, Public News Service - MO