Saturday, November 08, 2008

Wisdom of Peace Churches and the Need to reduce Waste on Military Recruitment and Bad So-Called Monetary Resource Addictions in Government with Our Ta

Wisdom of Peace Churches and the Need to reduce Waste on Military Recruitment and Bad So-Called Monetary Resource Addictions in Government with Our Taxes

By Kevin A. Stoda

According to Mya Wheeler, “Today the U.S. military spends nearly four billion dollars every year on military recruitment. Before Sept. 11, this figure was in the millions, with total spending in 1995 at only $600 million.”

I first recalled thinking in response to this statement of Wheeler’s: “Wow! What could we have done to build a better America or a better world? Probably, with 4 million bucks annually over the past decade, enough wells and well pumps could have been installed across developing lands of this Earth to improve lives of up to several hundred million people.”

I thought, “Alternatively, the US could have improved housing and efficiency across the Midwest—my home region—by using 4 billion to help homeowners and renters with energy producing solar or energy saving passive design developments.”

Wheeler asks, “What caused this dramatic increase [in USA military recruitment spending since 9-11]?”

In her article, entitled LESS THAN SNEAKY RECRUITMENT EFFORTS, Wheeler answers her own question by explaining: “National security that is focused on the nation-state as the main body tends to focus on military might, as seen in the Cold War. The burden then falls upon the military to expand, meaning more weapons and more people. The U.S. military is still a voluntary institution, which means that the Department of Defense has to devise more effective ways to reach its ever-mounting recruitment goals.”


The problem with nation states is that the people who live in them do not often find the checks and balances necessary in the system to change the status-quo, which is perpetuated by powerful interests—who are often (societally- and humanely- speaking) inefficient.

One set of checks and balances which peace churches in America have been advocating is that many Americans and their small business gain more control over what taxes are outlaid by individuals in the area of military and defense expenditures.

This is not a new or too-modern concept for Americans to digest. Every year since 1972 a bill allowing U.S. citizens to exempt themselves from such taxes has been place before congress—usually around April 15 or tax-day.

In the meantime, for decades, congress has done nothing to empower citizens who want both choice and a chance to have some checks and balances in the American nation state. This important voter and conscience-based tax issue has been ignored as defense and security spending have actually made America less secure each of the last few decades.


Enough is enough.

According to the Mennonite Central Committee Office in Washington, “In recent years, Representatives John Lewis (D-GA) and Jim Leach (R-IA) have reintroduced the Religious Freedom Peace Tax Fund Act, usually around tax day on April 15. This bill would amend the tax code to allow conscientious objectors to designate income, estate and gift tax payments for nonmilitary purposes only. This allows for full payment of taxes without violating deeply held religious or ethical convictions.”

Similarly, other peace fund taxes

and investment or development programs should be set up for both corporations and other concerned individuals to help defund bloated nation-state defense bureaucracies on a regular basis.

Alternatives to status-quo in America since WWI are not just a thing that America ought to be able to afford to permit to be realized, but should also be seen as smart short and long term investments in an America where so many people and parts of the economy have been underdeveloped by the top-heavy defense spending of the U.S. government for decades.

On the other hand, America and Americans can buy more love and support for more pro-American help around the world--if America allows the conscience of thousands or millions of its citizens to invest in the re-development of the US and the world rather than for allowing the military option to ever again get as out-of-control as we have seen it become over the past century.

Now is the time for America to realize this sort of re-prioritizing America’s spending, investment, and development taxes.

First, we need to support the steps suggested by the National Campaign for Peace Tax Fund. Second, we need to contact our congressmen and senators to get this attached to passable legislation in January 2009—possibly to the REBUILD AMERICA LEGISLATION that should create public works and empower Americans after our dark winter of bad national priorities.

By the way, here is a list of current sponsors of this bill:

Rep. John Lewis [GA-5] - (introduced 4/18/2007)
Rep. John Conyers, Jr. [MI-14] - 4/18/2007
Rep. James P. McGovern [MA-3] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Sam Farr [CA-17] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Jim McDermott [WA-7] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Ron Paul [TX-14] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Julia Carson [IN-7] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay [MO-1] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Keith Ellison [MN-5] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Chaka Fattah [PA-2] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Maurice D. Hinchey [NY-22] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson [TX-30] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Dennis J. Kucinich [OH-10] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton [DC] - 4/18/2007
Rep. James L. Oberstar [MN-8] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Jose E. Serrano [NY-16] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Lynn C. Woolsey [CA-6] - 4/18/2007
Rep. Rush D. Holt [NJ-12] - 5/8/2007
Rep. Danny K. Davis [IL-7] - 5/8/2007
Rep. Anna G. Eshoo [CA-14] - 5/14/2007
Rep. Tammy Baldwin [WI-2] - 5/17/2007
Rep. Elijah E. Cummings [MD-7] - 5/23/2007
Rep. Peter A. DeFazio [OR-4] - 6/15/2007
Rep. Nydia M. Velazquez [NY-12] - 8/2/2007
Rep. Donna M. Christensen [VI] - 10/9/2007
Rep. Henry C. "Hank" Johnson, Jr. [GA-4] - 10/22/2007
Rep. Michael M. Honda [CA-15] - 10/29/2007
Rep. Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. [IL-2] - 11/13/2007
Rep. Edolphus Towns [NY-10] - 11/15/2007
Rep. Jerry Moran [KS-1] - 11/15/2007
Rep. Donald M. Payne [NJ-10] - 1/15/2008
Rep. Carolyn C. Kilpatrick [MI-13] - 1/28/2008
Rep. Fortney Pete Stark [CA-13] - 3/4/2008
Rep. Melvin L. Watt [NC-12] - 3/14/2008
Rep. Corrine Brown [FL-3] - 4/1/2008
Rep. Albert Russell Wynn [MD-4] - 4/1/2008
Rep. Barney Frank [MA-4] - 4/15/2008
Rep. William D. Delahunt [MA-10] - 5/7/2008
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver [MO-5] - 5/20/2008
Rep. Barbara Lee [CA-9] - 6/5/2008
Rep. Bobby L. Rush [IL-1] - 6/12/2008
Rep. Sheila Jackson-Lee [TX-18] - 6/17/2008
Rep. Paul E. Kanjorski [PA-11] - 7/9/2008
Rep. Linda T. Sanchez [CA-39] - 7/23/2008
Let’s get Americans empowered and build a greater country this 2008.



Peace Issues,

Project on Government Oversight,




Anonymous Anonymous said...

Under Ronald Reagan, a huge reduction in US military forces began with the fall of the Berlin wall and rapid non-necessity of maintaining massive European forces. To drawdown the forces, many many jobs previously done by soldiers were translated to civilian activities. The current funding of forces is minimized by outsourcing all these lucrative contracts to US companies, who do much of the base operations, maintenance, communications maintanance, etc. It allows the government to show a smaller military base while still costing millions to maintain the same readiness posture.

7:25 AM  

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