Tuesday, April 17, 2012
It is April 16th, and I mailed tax returns to the federal and Minnesota state government today. One check and one refund request. I did it myself - not a big deal if you aren't a tax dodger, and if you learned to do arithmetic as a child. The larger question is what are "they" doing with the revenue from our Individual Income Tax submissions? First the Feds: the Pentagon gets the largest share of our "dues." Tax apologists like this writer have called taxes the "dues we pay for a civilized society." Recent news reports have documented what a terrible job the Army has done with its weapons procurement. "Two - two - and half" was the summary. An Army weapons project typically overruns to Twice the proposed budget, takes Twice as long as promised, and delivers Half of the expected performance. Some projects are cancelled only after its Research and Development has been completed. Despite some attempts, we are told that there has not been a complete and successful audit of the total Pentagon budget in many years. Our military readiness continues to be pretty good for fighting the last war and the one before that. We have a lot of tanks and armored personnel carriers, long-range jet bombers (older than the pilots), and twelve aircraft carriers with on-board squadrons of fighters and attack aircraft. Our hundreds of nuclear warheads can be targeted and delivered to potential enemies by a triad - of nuclear submarines, land-based intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and piloted jet aircraft from land and sea. We are spending more than the rest of the world on weaponry, so that we can dominate the rest of the world. It is also true that our industrial complex advertises and sells guided missiles, anti-missile radars, combat aircraft, and warships to much of the rest of the world, providing jobs and profits here at home, and also contributing toward conflicts aboard - for our volunteer troops to join. All this in the name of "National Security." I believe it is time to reexamine the trillion dollar spending at the Pentagon. Time at last to audit the books. Time to scale back the military armaments that the United States maintains world wide. It is my opinion that doing so will help us all sleep better at night.