Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Great article about military spending in Mother Jones

In How to give everyone healthcare and get rid of the income tax, I estimated that about 5% of our workforce goes to the military based on the fact that about 5% of our GDP is military spending. Well, it appears I grossly underestimated the amount of our GDP that is spent on the military.

In Why the debt crisis is now the greatest threat to the American republic, Charles Johnson does a more thorough analysis of how much the USA actually spends on the military. Although the FY08 military budget is $623 billion, the true amount of spending is almost double. These costs include off-budget items like the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and military spending that is included in non-military department departments (e.g. nuclear weapons in the Department of Energy, foreign military aid in the Department of State, long-term care in the Department of Veteran Affairs).

He estimates that total military spending in 2008 will be $1.1 trillion. To put that in perspective, the total revenue from personal income tax is $1.24 trillion. The total amount spent by China is around $65 billion and $50 billion by Russia. We spend much more than the rest of the world combined.

So basically, the entire personal income tax goes to military spending for maintaining our empire. It makes me sad to think how much I have personally paid in taxes for this.

I agree with almost everything this article says. The one thing with which I disagree is that we need to rollback the Bush tax cuts. I believe that with a policy of non-intervention, where we stop being the policeman of the world and we start dismantling our military empire, we can get rid of the entire income tax and provide quality healthcare for all Americans with an actual free market approach.

Continuing the policies we have is not going to work. The United States is going to go bankrupt. It's going to be ugly. I believe we're headed for a financial crisis worse than the Great Depression. There's a good chance it will happen this year. Our entire policy depends on the rest of the world lending us over $1 billion each day. Most Americans don't give this a thought or think it's normal. There will be a time when we'll will look back in amazement about how we thought this was okay. It will be similar to how people today look back at slave owners and wonder how they thought it was okay.

1 comment:

Vijay said...

I recently had to make an estimated tax payment to the IRS. I wrote a big note on the back of the envelope that carried the check which would eventually be turned in to a bomb:



I also left a Ron Paul card in there.

I'm pretty sure I'll get audited now.