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.”
PROBLEMS WITH NATION STATES
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 (s ocietally- 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
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.”