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OpEdNews Op Eds    H4'ed 5/18/10

Bullets and bombs are bringing destruction to foreign lands and to America

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Author 23439
Message Michael Payne

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Can bullets and bombs cause severe destruction in foreign lands and in America at the same time? Is that not impossible? It's not only possible, but it's happening right before our eyes. While bullets and bombs are raining destruction upon the nations of Afghanistan and Pakistan they are also, in effect, bringing destruction to our states, cities and municipalities.

Let's take examine two options for which our taxpayer dollars might be used, one for destructive wars and one for constructive domestic purposes. First, let's put billions of dollars into the making of weapons of war that are then used by the U.S. and NATO for the war against those we refer to as insurgents in Afghanistan and Pakistan, a war that will soon enter its tenth year. Hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars are being incinerated in the flames of this war.

While the wars rage on, here in America we are in the midst of a developing national catastrophe as many states are trying to cope with massive budget deficits; for example, California's deficit is forecast to be around $20 billion and that of Illinois around $13 billion. States must address and solve budget deficits since they don't have printing presses that can run 24/7 like the ones the federal government routinely uses. States main options are to raise taxes or cut back on services, and they are primarily resorting to the latter as teachers, firefighters, state employees, state social programs and infrastructure repairs are being scaled back.

To illustrate the magnitude of this misuse of our taxpayer dollars, let's see how the funding for wars has adversely affected states and their citizen-taxpayers. The National Priorities Project, a private research organization that focuses on the impact of federal spending at national, state and other levels, compiles data on the costs of war. Their data indicates that, since 2001 when the war in Afghanistan began, the apportioned cost to taxpayers in California has been $126 billion while in Illinois it has been $54 billion. This combined $180 billion in taxpayer dollars, in only two states, went to the Pentagon and none of it was allocated for positive, constructive domestic needs.

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