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Tax Day Protests in Iowa Over Government Spending

PHOTO: As residents across Iowa race to beat the midnight tax deadline, protesters are hitting the streets over what they call misplaced priorities on government spending. Photo credit: DonkeyHotey
PHOTO: As residents across Iowa race to beat the midnight tax deadline, protesters are hitting the streets over what they call misplaced priorities on government spending. Photo credit: DonkeyHotey
April 15, 2014

DES MOINES, Iowa - As residents across Iowa race to beat the midnight tax deadline, a protest is planned this afternoon over the way the government is spending those hard-earned dollars. The protest will focus on the corporate tax breaks given by Congress, which, according to Kathleen McQuillen, Iowa program coordinator with the American Friends Service Committee, come back to corrupt the political process.

"Companies are being rewarded with great profits from it and then they're turning around and putting all kinds of money into the candidates, into lobbying," she said. "So we see the tax dollars we're using as gifts to them to come back and lobby and get more gifts."

Of particular concern, McQuillen said, is the roughly half of U.S. discretionary funds that go to the Pentagon and the weapons industry. She said that money would be better spent addressing some of the country's most serious problems.

"Poverty. Joblessness. Billions of dollars that could be used to feed hungry children or to create jobs or to rebuild roads are now going into this weapons industry, which includes major subsidies," she declared.

One example cited by McQuillen is Lockheed Martin, which she said spends millions every year on political contributions and lobbying efforts while reaping billions in defense dollars from the government.

She said that payoff comes "in terms of contracts and earmarks and grants, and so their lobbying is paying off very well and their contributions, but we're paying for that."

This afternoon's protest will be held at the Neal Smith Federal Building in Des Moines.

More information on today's protest is at AFSC.org.

John Michaelson, Public News Service - IA