2013 TAX INFORMATION: How and Where Federal and Political Dollars are Spent – By the Numbers

Proposed 2014 military budget by the Obama administration: $640 billion (1)

Number of US military bases and installations world-wide: over 1000
Number of US military bases in Germany alone: 268
In Japan: 124
In Iraq: 100 (2)

Cost of the F-35 airplane program (the most expensive weapons program in U.S. history):  $1.5 trillion
Cost of providing every unemployed person in the U.S. a $50,000 job for the next 4 years: $1.5 trillion
Total cost of 1 F-35 plane: $610 million
Total cost of providing 8,000 university scholarships, 1,300 elementary school teachers, 1,100 police jobs, 14,000 Head Start slots, 18,000 Pell Grants, and 12,000 health care slots for veterans: $610 million (3)

Political campaign contributions from military corporations and employees of military corporations in 2010 and 2012 election cycles:  $51 million (4)

Proposed cuts to Social Security by Obama administration: $130 billion (5)
Proposed cuts to Medicare by Obama administration over the next 10 years: nearly $400 billion (6)

Amount of taxes corporations are not paying yearly because of loopholes in the US tax code: $90 billion
Amount the average US tax filer would need to pay to make up for this lost revenue: $615 (7)

Amount US big banks receive annually in US government subsidies (bailouts, guaranteed loans, deposit insurance, paid interest): very conservative estimate of $220 billion (8)

Political campaign contributions from U.S. banking, insurance and real estate sector in 2010 and 2012 election cycles: $979 million (9)

Amount of taxes unavailable following Fiscal Cliff decision to make 82% of Bush tax cuts (mostly to the very rich) permanent: $2.77 trillion (10)

2010 political donations and % of all donations by the top 1% of the richest 1%: $774 million / 24 (11)

Call the President (202-456-1111), Ohio Senators Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman and your Congressman. (US Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121). Tell them your tax and spending priorities. The only way to counter organized money (campaign contributions/investments from the very rich and corporations) is organized people.
Join Move to Amend (www.movetoamend.org) — a national coalition working for a constitutional amendment to declare that corporations are not people (and therefore can be regulated) and money is not speech (and therefore can be regulated).

More information/get active: Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee
330-928-2301 or http://afsc.org/akron

(1) http://www.cato.org/blog/obamas-2014-military-spending-request
(3) http://afsc.org/resource/stop-f-35
(4) http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/totals.php?cycle=2012&ind=D
(5) http://www.theatlantic.com/business/archive/2013/04/reality-check-obama-cuts-social-security-and-medicare-by-much-more-than-the-gop/274919/
(6) http://www.medpagetoday.com/Washington-Watch/Washington-Watch/38433
(7) http://www.uspirg.org/reports/usp/picking-tab-2013
(8) http://www.washingtonsblog.com/2013/03/top-banking-analyst-subsidies-to-giant-banks-exceed-780-billion-year.html
(9) http://www.opensecrets.org/industries/totals.php?cycle=2012&ind=F
(10) http://www.cbpp.org/cms/?fa=view&id=3880
(11) http://sunlightfoundation.com/blog/2011/12/13/the-political-one-percent-of-the-one-percent/

Taking stock of our taxation and spending priorities

Letter to the editor
Plain Dealer (Cleveland)
April 15 isn’t simply a day to grumble about our private income being taxed for public purposes. It’s also an annual opportunity to take stock of who pays taxes and what they are used for.
While virtually no one likes paying taxes, the reality is that it’s one of the prices that must be paid to create the essential physical and human “infrastructures” needed for civilizations.
Grumbles are transformed to outrage, however, when taxes are imposed unfairly and wasted or spent on programs that simply don’t work or appear to benefit only a few.
Permanent George W. Bush-era tax breaks (most benefiting the very rich) totaling $2.77 trillion, a proposed 2014 Pentagon budget of $526 billion and corporate tax loopholes amounting to $150 billion, according to U.S. PIRG, are examples of unequal, ineffective and inefficient tax and spending priorities. Overarching all of this is the fact that the entire political system is rigged via political campaign contributions (or investments) favoring the very rich and huge corporations.
More sane and humane taxation and spending priorities can occur only when people committed to such priorities amass more political power and rights than corporations and the wealthy few.
Greg Coleridge, Cuyahoga Falls
Coleridge is director of the Northeast Ohio American Friends Service Committee.