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Actions Today: Manchester, Concord to Spotlight Tax Day Trade-offs

Granite State activists will be sending a message on Tax Day that the nearly $2.5 billion local taxpayers contribute to the Pentagon budget could be better spent. (Arnie Alpert, AFSC)
Granite State activists will be sending a message on Tax Day that the nearly $2.5 billion local taxpayers contribute to the Pentagon budget could be better spent. (Arnie Alpert, AFSC)
April 18, 2016

CONCORD, N.H. – It's Tax Day, and as many Granite Staters trudge to the Post Office to file their returns, actions are planned in Manchester and Concord to protest what some consider excess military spending military spending.

Will Hopkins, executive director of New Hampshire Peace Action, says taxpayers in the state paid almost $2.5 billion to the Pentagon last year, and he argues that money could have done a whole lot more good being spent elsewhere.

"Some of the trade-offs you could have - that's over 3,000 elementary school teachers in the state of New Hampshire, 41,000 four-year scholarships for university students, 30,000 police officers," he points out.

Hopkins says New Hampshire Peace Action will be passing out leaflets outside the Manchester and Concord offices of all members of the New Hampshire congressional delegation on Tax Day.

Hopkins, an infantryman in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, says many Americans probably are unaware of how much the Pentagon is spending just to upgrade the nation's nuclear arsenal.

He contends it's time for Congress to turn away from excessive spending on weapons and turn toward education, health and creation of good jobs.

"We're looking at the amount of money the federal government spends on the Pentagon versus the amount they are spending on human needs,” he states. “This year we’re focusing, in particular, on the trillion dollars that is being spent to upgrade our nuclear weapons complex over the next 30 years."

The Tax Day leaflet distribution will begin at noon outside U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte's Elm Street office in Manchester and end up at 2 p.m. outside Rep. Ann Kuster's South Main Street office in Concord.

The effort is part of a Global Day of Action that coincides with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute's annual report on global military spending, that found that, once again, the United States spent more than the next eight countries combined.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NH