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Friday, September 23, 2011

The Truth About Taxes - US

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The debate of American peoples taxes has really taken center stage and as important as the tax debate is it seems to function more as a divisive tool than a diagnostic one. I think the bigger issue here is how tax money is allocated and spent.

For example, since its inception the War On Drugs has cost US taxpayers well over 2.5 trillion dollars. Despite this, illicit drugs are more widely available and more widely used than ever. Since 1980 the US prison population has increased twelve-fold due to non-violent drug offenses and many US prisons are privatized now which means they actually profit from incarceration.

But here's the real kicker, drug profits are almost completely dependent upon the ability of the Cartels to launder and transfer hundreds of billions of dollars through major US banks and other financial institutions. Laundering drug money is one of the most lucrative sources of income for Wall St. In essence US banks are the financial engines which allow these drug empires to thrive. So who protects the banks and by extension the Cartels? The White House, Congress, and the Justice Department.

The drug trade and the associated profits are a matter of national security and yet billions of your tax dollars are spent each year supposedly trying to eradicate it.

The War On Terror fits a similar modus operandi. The cost of these wars will total no less than 5 trillion dollars. The total cost of WWII, adjusted for inflation, was about 4.1 trillion. Officially our yearly defense budget is anywhere between 600 and 800 billion dollars. However, considering the vastness and secretiveness of the black budget many estimate our yearly "defense" expenditures to be somewhere closer to 1.5 trillion dollars.

To put this in perspective if you combined all the state budget deficits, (states which are being forced to cut vital social programs, programs we all can agree are necessary, i.e. education, infrastructure, law enforcement, etc.) it would only total 140 billion dollars, roughly equivalent to the annual military interest payment.

Added to the sheer cost of our military adventurism is the enormous fraud and waste associated with current US war spending. Billions of dollars (literally stacks of cash piled onto pallets) have simply disappeared from both Iraq and Afghanistan. Defense contractors are notorious for fraudulent billing and shoddy work. One recent report detailed the 20 billion dollar a year cost of air conditioning open air tents in the 125 degree heat of Afghanistan. That's astounding! Not to mention auditors at the Pentagon admit they can't account for 25% of what it actually spends.

All the while we have black operations programs which are actively supporting terrorism, whether it's the rebels in Libya, Sunnis in Iran, warlords in Af-Pak, or the Cartels in Latin America these programs only perpetuate the problems of foreign entanglements. Entanglements which are at odds with our core beliefs and principles. This strategy can only lead to more conflict, more war, and especially more spending. So who facilitates and protects these black operations programs? The White House, Congress, and the Defense Department.

War (terrorism) and the associated profits are a matter of national security and yet billions of your tax dollars are spent each year supposedly trying to eradicate it.

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