April 15: Funding the Empire
By Grant Mincy / c4ss.org
Apr 15, 2014

Tax day, April 15th, is a day of celebration in the United States. On this day we citizens of the great republic take pride in the fact that we can come together in a democratic society and make decisions cooperatively with one another. The fruits of our labor, beholden to the IRS, will now be spread throughout society to build our collective vision of a more perfect union – one tax dollar at a time.

OK, OK – nothing could be further from the truth.

The sad fact about April 15th is that the overwhelming majority of tax dollars are collected for past, current and projected military spending. The War Resisters League has spent a lot of time researching federal tax revenue and the results are rather sobering.

Revenue collected for military spending includes the grossly bloated $584 billion budget for the Department of Defense. Additional military revenue, about $202 billion worth, is collected outside the DoD. This totals $786 billion for current military operations. Adding the Obama era “Overseas Contingency Operations” (a continuation of the Bush era “War on Terror”), roughly another $47 billion dollars, brings total revenue raised for ongoing operations up to $833 billion. Further tax revenue, $521 billion worth, is used to cover past military spending. This payment for war debt puts us over $1.4 trillion.

The tally doesn’t really stop there either. The Department of Homeland Security, made (in)famous for airport security, has militarized police departments around the nation since its inception. The war on drugs shows little sign of slowing down (though promising pockets of resistance are flourishing). Weapons production, drones, prisons, manufacturing the machines of war and upholding a nuclear payload that could end human civilization multiple times over (because destroying the Earth once isn’t mighty enough) … the list goes on and on.

Roughly 47% of tax revenue is spent on human resources – we finally get a place at the table! But don’t forget, when “too big to fail” big shots in the corporate/financial world get in trouble this revenue is sure to go to them instead of the general populace. Main street will shut down and families will lose their homes while the economic elite are bailed out. Instead of redistributing revenue back to individuals, taxpayer dollars are used to protect the economic interests of the state. The initial bailouts of the Bush Administration cost the American taxpayer $700 billion – and we’re still counting.

What most Americans hold as priority – clean, safe communities, a healthy environment, infrastructure, education, research, etc – all pale in importance to the military and economic strength of the US empire.

Tax day is not a day of cooperation; it is a day of disappointment. It is a day that reminds us that the state cripples human potential. It is a day that reminds us of the horrors and costs of central planning.

(Noam Chomsky style) Libertarianism offers a solution. Imagine a socio-economic system crafted by liberated human beings – alternative institutions created by self governance and free association. What are the possibilities of humanity? How would the products of self-directed, inclined labor progress and build society?

One thing is certain: It is not in the interests of liberated human beings to die for governments – the stateless society would not be wasting countless resources on war.


Editor's Note: In America, libertarianism has come to be associated with a very conservative, right leaning (some would argue: faux) variety of libertarianism. This article uses the word in it's original sense, as it was first known in Europe to describe anarchists and libertarian socialists.

3.7 ·
2
Trending Today
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min · 11,529 views today · "The world is missing what I am ready to give: My Wisdom, My Sweetness, My Love and My hunger for Peace." "Where are you? Where are you, little girl with broken wings but full...
The Top 100 Documentaries We Can Use to Change the World
Films For Action · 3,788 views today · A more beautiful, just and sustainable world is possible. Take this library and use it to inspire global change!
PROPAGANDA (2012)
95 min · 2,527 views today · Since it mysteriously appeared on YouTube on July 18, 2012, ‘Propaganda’ has been described as ‘1984 meets The Blair Witch Project’, ‘A mouthful of scary porridge’, and ‘Even...
The Science Behind Connection
9 min · 2,264 views today · Evolutionary Biologist, Bruce Lipton, visits the Beatles Ashram in Rishikesh, India with UPLIFT writer, Jacob Devaney. Making a pilgrimage back to one of the epicenters of...
John Lennon's "Imagine," Made Into a Comic Strip
John Lennon. Art by Pablo Stanley · 1,945 views today · This is easily the best comic strip ever made.  Pabl
Life Goes On: A Positive and Uplifting Response to Dark Times
2 min · 1,677 views today · Recent world events have a lot of people feeling fearful and angry. But there is much more good than bad in this world, and I choose to remain hopeful. This video explains why.
Obama's Hidden Role in Worsening Climate Change
Stansfield Smith · 852 views today · It should be a scandal that leftists-liberals paint Trump as a special threat, a war mongerer – not Obama who is the first president to be at war everyday of his eight years...
"Desert Goddess" Remembers Arizona's Glen Canyon
7 min · 600 views today · In this excerpt from the award-winning documentary DamNation, filmmakers Ben Knight and Travis Rummel interview the "desert goddess," Katie Lee. When the Glen Canyon Dam was...
Dinosaur explains Trump policies better than Trump!
8 min · 465 views today · Donald Trump is actually the corporate triceratops, Mr. Richfield, from the 90's TV show sitcom, "Dinosaurs". 
How Mindfulness Empowers Us
2 min · 368 views today · Many traditions speak of the opposing forces within us, vying for our attention. Native American stories speak of two wolves, the angry wolf and the loving wolf, who both live...
18 Empowering Illustrations to Remind Everyone Who's Really in Charge of Women's Bodies
Julianne Ross · 327 views today · When Brazilian graphic designer Carol Rossetti began posting colorful illustrations of women and their stories to Facebook, she had no idea how popular they would...
Make The Serengeti Great Again | Resource Scarcity, Demagogues and How Creativity Can Trump Hate (2017)
5 min · 308 views today · A Familiar Tale of Resource Scarcity, Demagogues, and How Creativity Can Trump Hate A quick, original, illustrated allegory that pokes at the demagogues we’ve got with an...
Stunning Photos By Alexander Semenov Showcase The Alien Beauty Of Jellyfish
Earth Porm · 290 views today · Jellyfish appear like beautiful aliens in Alexander Semenov’s photography, calling a new attraction to a magical species of marine life. Alexander Semenov is a marine...
This Zen Comic Is Full of Timeless Life Lessons
Gavin Aung Than · 265 views today · Desiderata poem by Max Ehrmann beautifully illustrated by Gavin Aung Than
Defiance in the Face of Oppression - Iranian Artist Atena Farghadani Defends the Right to Draw
Gavin Aung Than · 250 views today · Atena Farghadani is a 28-year-old Iranian artist. She was recently sentenced to 12 years and 9 months in prison for drawing a cartoon.  
Why It's Crucial for Women to Heal the Mother Wound
Bethany Webster · 237 views today · The issue at the core of women’s empowerment is the mother wound
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga · 220 views today · Sometimes photographs deceive. Take this one, for example. It represents John Carlos and Tommie Smith’s rebellious gesture the day they won medals for the 200 meters at the...
HUMAN (2015)
382 min · 212 views today · What is it that makes us human? Is it that we love, that we fight? That we laugh? Cry? Our curiosity? The quest for discovery?  Driven by these questions, filmmaker and artist...
Money & Life (2013)
86 min · 207 views today · Money & Life is a passionate and inspirational essay-style documentary that asks a provocative question: can we see the economic crisis not as a disaster, but as a tremendous...
Deconstructing Hierarchies: On Contrived Leadership and Arbitrary Positions of Power
Colin Jenkins · 206 views today · Bosses don't grow on trees. They don't magically appear at your job. They aren't born into their roles. They are created. They are manufactured to fulfill arbitrary positions...
Load More
What's Next
Like us on Facebook?
April 15: Funding the Empire