Monday, April 14, 2014



Compiled by Dick Bennett for a Culture of Peace, Justice, and Ecology.  

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Spend our tax money to help, not kill, people.

Contents of Global Day of Action on Military Spending, April 15, 2014
United Nations 2014
War Resisters League Pie Chart 2014
Peace Action Move the Money 2014
Global Day of Action 2014, Google Search


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On Global Day, UN expert urges less military spending, more investment in development

Weapons collected in Libya to prevent arms proliferation. Photo: Giovanni Diffidenti
14 April 2014 – Marking the Global Day of Action on Military Spending, the United Nations independent expert on the promotion of a democratic and equitable international order called on all governments to boost transparency and cuts in military expenditures, and increase investments in nutrition, health, environmental protection and other major sustainable development challenges.
“Every democracy must involve civil society in the process of establishing budgets, and all sectors of society must be consulted to determine what the real priorities of the population are,” Special Rapporteur Alfred de Zayas said in a statement. “Lobbies, including military contractors and other representatives of the military-industrial complex, must not be allowed to hijack these priorities to the detriment of the population’s real needs.”
The expert urged world parliaments to implement the will of the people, based on representative opinion polling, and significantly reduce all military expenditures (arms production, military research, military bases abroad, surveillance of private citizens, ‘intelligence’-gathering, or overt and covert military operations).
“Tax revenue must be reoriented toward the promotion of civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights, for research into sustainable sources of energy and for the promotion of sustainable development,” Mr. de Zayas stressed.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, global military spending levels are at an all-time high, reaching a total of $1.75 trillion in 2012, a number that Mr. de Zayas says constitutes “an unconscionable use of resources.”
“In a world where millions of human beings live in extreme poverty, die of malnutrition and lack medical care, where pandemics continue to kill, it is imperative to pursue good faith disarmament negotiations and to shift budgets away from weapons production, war-mongering, and surveillance of private persons, and devote available resources to address global challenges including humanitarian relief, environmental protection, climate change mitigation and adaptation, prevention of pandemics, and the development of a green economy,” he said.
Mr. de Zayas highlighted that such a shift in States’ spending habits is key to achieving the UN post-2015 development agenda.
“I am surprised that in the current context of global socio-economic crisis, few have voiced indignation regarding the disproportionate levels of military spending. The place to exercise austerity is in wasteful military expenditures, not in social protection,” he insisted.
The Special Rapporteur urged governments to “considerably reduce funds allocated to the military, not only as a disarmament issue, but also as a potential contributor to social and environmental protection,” and called for “the holding of referenda on this issue worldwide.”
Estimating that a 10 per cent annual reduction in military expenditures would be “reasonable,” Mr. de Zayas also encouraged all States to contribute to the UN’s annual Report on Military Expenditures by submitting complete data on national defence budgets.
Independent experts or special rapporteurs are appointed by the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to examine and report back on a country situation or a specific human rights theme. The positions are honorary and the experts are not UN staff, nor are they paid for their work.

News Tracker: past stories on this issue

Related Stories

In-depth Interviews

Angela  Kane, High Representative for Disarmament Affairs

Patricia O’Brien, United Nations Legal Counsel

John Ging, Director  of Operations, UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs

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War Resisters League Pie Chart

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WRL PIE CHART FLYERS - Where Your Income Tax Money Really Goes


 The War Resisters League spends a lot of time, energy and money to create this resource. Please credit when using. For permissions to reprint, email us at
FY2015 Pie Chart Flyer


The current edition of the War Resisters League's famous "pie chart" flyer analyzes the Federal Fiscal Year 2015 Budget.  Perfect for Tax Day leafletting, as a focus for forums and panels and workshops and more!
Each year, War Resisters League analyzes federal funds outlays as presented in detailed tables in "Analytical Perspectives" of the Budget of the United States Government. Our analysis is based on federal funds, which do not include trust funds -- such as Social Security -- that are raised separately from income taxes for specific purposes. What you pay (or don't pay) by April 15, 2014 goes to the federal funds portion of the budget.


Current military” includes Dept. of Defense ($584 billion) and the military portion from other departments as noted in current military box above ($202 billion). Funding for the war on terror is listed as “Overseas Contingency Operations” and totals $47 in this breakdown. “Past military” represents veterans’ benefits plus 80% of the interest on the debt.*
These figures are from an analysis of detailed tables in the Analytical Perspectives book of the Budget of the United States Government, Fiscal Year 2015. The figures are Federal funds, which do not include Trust funds — such as Social Security — that are raised and spent separately from income taxes.
What you pay (or don’t pay) by April 15, 2014, goes to the Federal funds portion of the budget. The government practice of combining Trust and Federal funds began during the Vietnam War, thus making the human needs portion of the budget seem larger and the military portion smaller.

*Analysts differ on how much of the debt stems from the military; other groups estimate 50% to 60%. We use 80% because we believe if there had been no military spending most (if not all) of the national debt would have been eliminated.


FY2015 Pie Chart - SWAT guy

The attacks on 9/11 led to the U.S. government’s endless “War on Terror” abroad. The creation in 2003 of the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) — a second “defense” department — brought that war home. While military style policing, especially in communities of color, grew with the war on drugs in the 1980s, access to the weapons of war has proliferated through Pentagon and now DHS programs. “Current military” on the pie chart incorporates the variety of federal agencies that contribute to the militarization of our lives.
  • Under the Pentagon’s Excess Property Program, $4 billion of equipment has been transferred to state and local police departments since 1990, including grenade launchers, helicopters, military robots, bayonets, armored vehicles, battle fatigues, etc.
  • Even the smallest police departments can purchase new battle-gear and surveillance equipment with generous DHS grants—over $34 billion since 2003. Ohio State University will use their 18-ton Mine-Resistant Ambush-Protected vehicle “for a police presence at football games.”
  • AR-15 semi-automatic rifles have become a standard police weapon and school districts from California to Georgia are buying them by the dozens.
  • Arms merchants are cashing in those DHS grants with heavy marketing and sales across the U.S.
  • Urban Shield, a police training and weapons expo, invites your local cop to shop and train with police around the world from Bahrain to Brazil, courtesy of such companies as Lockheed Martin, Alliant Techsystems/ATK, and Safariland. 
  • Customs and Border Protection (CPB, part of DHS) is the largest law enforcement agency in the U.S. Investigations into dehumanizing detentions, intrusive searches, and killings at the border reveal an agency operating with impunity, whose policies are shrouded in secrecy.
  • CPB owns 10 Predator drones (operating cost: $3,000 an hour). From 2010-12, they loaned 700 surveillance flights to local, state, and federal agencies.
  • U.S. taxpayers throw $786 billion a year at weaponized “security.” Meanwhile food insecurity (hunger) is at record levels for the fifth straight year in the U.S. 


Leaflet with this flyer year-round and on Tax Day, April 15, 2014, which is also the Global Day of Action on Military Spending. (demilitarize. org). Be part of the New Priorities Network.
Join WRL’s Facing Tear Gas campaign to end the use of tear gas and related chemical weapons and police militarization in the U.S. and globally. The campaign is organizing against paramilitary training “Urban Shield” sites across the country. 

Call for your community to opt out!
 Stop local law enforcement from accepting military giveaways and DHS grants for weapons of war.
Write letters to elected officials and local newspapers. Send them copies of this flyer. Demand that the Pentagon budget be slashed.
Protest with your money! Sign up at wartax Refuse to pay all or part of your federal income tax. Whatever you choose to refuse—$1, $10, or a percentage—send a letter to elected officials and tell them why. Though illegal, thousands of people openly participate in this form of protest. Contact us for information or referral to a counselor near you. Contribute resisted tax money to organizations that support the common good.
Watch Death & Taxes, a 30-min. film featuring war tax resisters from across the country. Online
For more about refusing to pay for war, contact the National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee, PO Box 150553, Brooklyn, NY 11215,  800.269.7464, Support the Peace Tax Fund bill:
Read and use War Tax Resistance: A Guide to Withholding Your Support from the Military, 144-page handbook with history, methods and resources.
(Right-click and download)
FY2015 (Released March 2014) Pie Chart Flyer
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The War Resisters League spends a lot of time, energy and money to create this resource. Please credit when using. For permissions to reprint, email us at

Home » Issues » Move the Money

Move the Money

While the recommendations of the Sustainable Defense Task would cut over one trillion dollars from the Pentagon budget over the next 10 years, this would still leave the Pentagon a ten year budget of over six trillion dollars.
Today, military spending accounts for more than half of the federal government's entire discretionary budget. Nuclear weapons spending alone accounts for over $40 billion annually, and is scheduled to increase.  There is an obvious connection between the bloated Pentagon budget and the critical budget shortfalls facing virtually every community in the country.
Peace Action is partnering with Peace Action Education Fund on its Move the Money Campaign. This effort will serve as a platform for average people to voice their opinions and demands regarding military spending.  Communities will utilize public forums, education, public demonstrations, local resolutions and petitions as tools to influence decisions made by our elected officials.
 The following are goals that Peace Action’s Move the Money Campaign has for 2013:
  •  Build stronger alliances between the peace movement and labor, economic justice and human needs groups, whose constituencies have been devastated by the economic crisis.
  • Raise the stakes for President Obama and other elected officials in the 2014 elections as they define their positions on military spending issues through Peace Action’s Peace Voter 2014 organizing,  
  • Develop educational tools on the federal budget and the impact of military spending on their communities for local organizers to use in their outreach.
  • Work in key states to raise awareness and public support for reducing military spending by 25%.
  • Support the local efforts of Peace Action affiliates and chapters in strengthening local alliances with civil rights, labor and other community groups and build city, state and national coalitions focused on reductions of military spending to meet human needs, and encourage participation in the Congressional budget process in 2013 and beyond.

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1 comment:

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Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)

Dick's Wars and Warming KPSQ Radio Editorials (#1-48)