Friday, March 10, 2006

Taxes: What a Difference 200 years makes

Sherlock Holmes, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's famous literary creation, had a problem that was evident from his first appearance. He was addicted, first to the application of reason and logic to his investigative hobby, and second to drugs -- specifically, cocaine, a "seven percent solution" as he tells Dr. Watson in The Sign of Four.

Washington is also addicted. Its drug is tax dollars for the "global war on terror," including Afghanistan and Iraq. But this addiction is six times Holmes'. Overall, in Fiscal Year 2005, 42 percent of your taxes and mine went for war and war preparations.

So how are we doing? The U.S. is about to start the fourth year since President Bush ordered the invasion of Iraq. Afghanistan remains in turmoil, and with Iraq is costing U.S. taxpayers about $7 billion per month for actual operations. On March 2, a Pentagon spokesperson conceded that "We are not killing them [the insurgents] as fast as they're being created." Meanwhile, U.S. casualties continue to rise.

Beyond the dead and wounded is another stream of red -- red ink. Out of a national debt approaching $8.18 trillion, $3 trillion has been added by the Bush administration. And the Senate is to vote this week to raise the debt ceiling by another $780 billion. Two hundred years ago, with federal revenue entirely dependent on customs duties, the worry for Thomas Jefferson was what to do with the surplus after the debt (about $60 million) was retired. The answer: invest in the country's future -- buy real estate (Louisiana Purchase).

To find out more about what makes up this 42 percent of taxes being spent on war, see http://www.fcnl.org.

1 Comments:

Anonymous sixpacksongs said...

"On March 2, a Pentagon spokesperson conceded that 'We are not killing them [the insurgents] as fast as they're being created.'

...quite possibly because the ratio of "killed" (or imprisoned/tortured/beaten/robbed etc under some color of authority) to insurgents inspired to revenge is something north of 1.0....

Basic arithmetic: a neglected art in the halls of power today.

9:04 PM  

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