Monday, December 16, 2013


From War Resisters League
In a Dec. 7th AP article appearing in our local paper, I finally see in print what I’ve been calling attention to every April 15th Tax Day for the last 40 plus years. “The bipartisan defense authorization bill typically enjoys overwhelming support…a measure that represents more than half the nation’s discretionary budget.   The point of the article is that the Pentagon is worried that it’s not getting enough, and not according to its schedule.   As we approach with gifts the Baby Jesus in the stable this Christmas, it’s important to think of where our major government “Gifts of the Magi” are going, and remember that this Child is the promised Prince of Peace.

This “more than half” of our national yearly treasure is a truer statement than the pie chart [a lesser percent going to the military] the IRS includes in its 1040 booklets, as it doesn’t dilute the total income tax distributions with Medicare and Social Security funds which are independent tax trusts for those purposes only.  And regrettably those trust funds have been severely borrowed/robbed from to prepay off budget, for recent preemptive wars, a major cause of the projected shortfalls in these social insurance programs. 

Why do we have to have such gigantic expenditures on our military?   Because we are the richest country in the world with one of the most inequitable distributions of the wealth, even amongst our own citizens.   This big money must be protected no matter what the cost.  There are many who think we can ignore what Mary says, as her family awaited the birth of John the Baptist and Jesus, “He has cast down the mighty from their thrones, and he hath exalted those who were humbled.  He hath filled the hungry with good thing, and the rich he hath sent empty away.” Lk 1:52-53

On the same Tuesday as the above article I went to see the film, “Inequality for All” at our local community college.   Their biggest auditorium was packed to overflowing so I had to view it at a packed second site.   People of all political stripes know that something is not right.  The economist and former U.S. Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, made the case that our middle class is under attack from an economy stacked against them, to the benefit of the few most powerful.  His perspective is that this is almost as bad for the rich, as for the middle class and poor—see his website for some suggested actions to bring fundamental change.
From Robert Reich website
question I had for him that didn’t make it in the video conference Q & A:
Since the Citizens United Supreme Court decision favors the rich so heavily in politics, shouldn’t we become united citizens this next April 15th, and give our tax money to local education and infrastructure projects, instead of to the IRS, until the rich are again required to pay a progressive tax, and there is again the chance for real democratic progress in the USA?  The rich freely speak with their money—so should we.

Illumination by Kathy Brahney

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