Are federal income taxes heavily used to support military spending?

04/15/14 Rob Lorei
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Tags: Randy Kehler, Defense Spending, tax day, federal income tax


Randy Kehler

Today is the deadline for filling out your forms and paying your federal income taxes for last year. One major component of those taxes, military spending is rarely discussed in-depth. Today on Radioactivity, Rob Lorei explores military spending and speaks with tax resistor who objects to paying his federal income taxes.

Depending on how you measure it, military or what’s usually called defense spending makes up either 20% of the federal budget. If you remove Social Security and Medicare, the US military budget currently accounts for over half of our discretionary budget and nearly half of all military spending the world over.

President Obama has proposed scaling back some of that military spending which caused outrage on FOX News a few weeks ago with Sean Hannity and former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Randy Kehler has been actively engaged for the past 40 years in research, writing, organizing, and advocacy regarding a range of public policy issues including energy and land reform, electoral democracy, and nuclear disarmament.

A graduate of Harvard College, Randy spent 22 months in federal prison for his refusal to cooperate with the Vietnam draft. Randy is a co-founder of the Traprock Peace Center (Deerfield, MA); the Nuclear Weapons Freeze Campaign (national); and the Working Group on Electoral Democracy (national).

Randy and his wife Betsy Corner have lived in Colrain, MA, for the past 30 years. As conscientious objectors to war, Randy and Betsy have for many years redirected their federal income tax payments to non-military needs such as food for the hungry, shelter for the homeless, and relief for war victims (including U.S. soldiers).

Their war-tax refusal and the story of the IRS seizure of their home is the subject of an awardwinning documentary film entitled “An Act of Conscience” (Turning Tide Productions, 1994)

Documentary, article, and website mentioned on today's show:

F35, The jet that ate the Pentagon

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