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How Your Tax Dollars Are Being Used

April 15, 2010

Every year many Americans fret over filing tax forms with the hope of getting something back. However, too often there is little information and limited discussion about how our tax dollars are being spent. Here are a few examples from various national sources for your consideration.

The War Resister’s League (WRL) every year provides a useful breakdown on how much of our tax dollars go for war and the military. “Over $1 trillion spent so far on the invasions and occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan since October 2001, with nearly half of each tax dollar going to the Pentagon and military contractors. Cities and states are closing schools, cutting services, furloughing staff. Thousands of civilians and soldiers killed with no evidence that the world is safer.”

The WRL advocates all kinds of actions around tax resistance, from education and awareness building on the matter to information on how to be a tax resister. They even provide an online “how to guide” for those wanting to challenge paying war taxes.

The group Jobs with Justice also has a Tax Day message, which is focused on the amount of your tax dollars that have gone to bailout Wall Street Banks.

For 30 years, corporate CEOs and Wall Street speculators have put the squeeze on workers with globalization, privatization and union-busting.

They used their rising profits to buy Congress, convincing them to hand out tax breaks to the rich and gut banking regulations and consumer protections.  Then they invented unscrupulous mortgage and investing practices, turning our financial system into a casino.  When their speculation didn’t pay off, they got Congress to bail them out to the tune of $15,000 for every household in America.

A tax on the speculators of the Wall Street casino could put 3 million people to work fixing our infrastructure, teaching our children, making our factories more sustainable and improving our public services.”

One additional group that is organizing around tax day and tax issues is Reform Immigration For America. They are advocating that if the US reformed its immigration policy the US could be generating more tax dollars for important social services.

A report from the Immigration Policy Center and the Center for American Progress found that legalization of undocumented immigrants would generate between $4.5 billion and $5.4 billion in tax revenues over three years.”

That’s $1,650,000,000 every year

It’s $4,517,453.80 every day

It’s $188,227 every hour

It’s $52.29 every second, that we could be generating in tax income. That money could fund infrastructure and public services – but until Congress acts, we’ll be leaving money on the table that could help our communities.

One action they are encouraging people to take is to send a blank tax form to Congress to show what kind of impact immigrants could have on the economy.

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