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How Much of Your Taxes Pay for War?

Robert Greenwald and Derrick Crowe [1] have devised a “cost of war” calculator [2] for people to determine how much of their tax dollars are going to pay for the war in Afghanistan.

Oliver Wendell Holmes once famously said, “Taxes are what we pay for civilized society.” But unfortunately, they’re also what we pay when our elected officials make huge, expensive mistakes, and in this case, use lots of expensive weapons to kill people. According to our friends at the National Priorities Project, 27.4 percent of our income taxes will go to pay for the Afghanistan War and other military spending [3]. Already the taxpayer is on the hook for $107.3 billion just for this year, and just for the hugely expensive Afghanistan War. Those billions of dollars are supposed to help us build up our community and lay the groundwork for a brighter future for our children but, instead, they’re being used to fight a war the American people don’t support. [4]
This comes, of course, as people are filing their taxes, but also while there is a vicious political fight in Washington about the budget. Unfortunately politicians aren’t feeling the squeeze when it comes to paying for unnecessary wars.

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#1 Comment By Steve in Ohio On April 7, 2011 @ 10:52 am

Paul Ryan, for whom I have great respect, claims that defense spending is only 20% of GDP (down from 25%). Does anybody know whether or not this is true?

#2 Comment By Steve in Ohio On April 7, 2011 @ 10:53 am

Sorry I believe 20% was percent of the budget, not GDP.

#3 Comment By Rudi On April 7, 2011 @ 5:22 pm

About 30% for current military, including the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Then you have to add in 10-15% which is veterans’ benefits and interest on debt derived from past military spending. The real figure is closer to 40-45%. Paul Ryan wants to keep transferring wealth to corporate war profiteers.

#4 Comment By Bobby B On September 9, 2011 @ 12:01 pm

That is such a terrible thought. Shame on the government!