APRIL 18th PATRONS OF LOCAL POST OFFICES WILL LEARN
HOW MUCH OF THEIR INCOME TAXES GO TO THE MILITARY
Peace Activists Will Leaflet (image below) to Demonstrate Gross Military Waste; Warn Postal Official Not to Interfere with Lawful Free Speech.
On Tax Day this Monday, peace activists will be outside post offices in the Rogue Valley distributing leaflets showing that 44% of each income tax dollar goes to cover present and past military costs. Volunteers with Citizens for Peace & Justice; Peace House; and Veterans for Peace, Rogue Valley Chapter 156, will be at facilities in Ashland, Central Point, Grants Pass, Medford, Phoenix, and Talent.
When members of local peace groups handed out similar flyers on Tax Day in 2012, Post Office officials in Central Point illegally ordered one of the distributors to leave the property. The same thing took place there and in Phoenix in 2013. The first involved an arrest, but the District Attorney’s office refused to prosecute, which made it doubly shameful that the Central Point officials tried the same tactic the next year. The Phoenix postmistress called the police, but they convinced her that she needed to check with the USPS attorney in Portland to learn if she were correct. She wasn’t, and the leafleting proceeded.
Herbert Rothschild of Peace House, who was involved in both incidents when officials tried to abridge his First Amendment rights, said, “I’m hopeful that there will be no repetition of such misuse of authority this year.” He added, “Every station master should know the law by now.”
Allen Hallmark, vice president of the local Veterans for Peace chapter, stressed that the driving force of our military spending isn’t national security but the profits of giant military contractors like Lockheed Martin. “The hugely expensive weapons systems that made some sense during the Cold War are irrelevant in meeting today’s security challenges. The Twin Towers were brought down by a handful of men using box cutters. But members of Congress, beholden to the huge campaign contributions of such corporations, keep squandering our national treasure on these useless projects.”
Picking up that theme, Rothschild added, “For decades the Pentagon hasn’t been able to give Congress an audited accounting of where the money goes, yet so-called ‘fiscally responsible’ legislators give them a blank check year after year. Last year Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and Republican Presidential candidate Senator Ted Cruz introduced the Audit the Pentagon Act of 2015, which would establish strict penalties should the Department of Defense not meet its legal obligation to be audit-ready by 2017. Needless to say, the bill never even got a hearing in committee.”
The leaflet that volunteers will be distributing reveals the true percentage of the income tax dollar that goes to the military. That percentage is regularly obscured in government reports because Social Security, Medicare, and other self-funded trust funds are included in the budget. Congress has no control over those dollars. Of the dollars, Congress can appropriate annually, almost half are devoted to war and preparations for war. Those expenditures far exceed the amount any conceivable enemy nation is spending.
For more information, contact Allen Hallmark, 541 897-0135, firstname.lastname@example.org, or Herbert Rothschild, 541-531-2848, email@example.com. https://www.warresisters.org/sites/default/files/2015%20pie%20chart%20-%20high%20res.pdf