A Huge Portion of Our Tax Dollars Go Into the Pockets of Defense Industry Shareholders and CEOs

by | Apr 20, 2022 | Politics & Corruption

Photo by 12019

A Huge Portion of Our Tax Dollars Go Into the Pockets of Defense Industry Shareholders and CEOs

by | Apr 20, 2022 | Politics & Corruption

Photo by 12019
Now that tax day is over, where do the majority of our tax dollars go? Into over-priced and useless weapon systems and corporate coffers.

Most of us want our tax dollars to be wisely used — especially around tax time.

You’ve probably heard a lot about corporations not paying taxes. Last year, individuals like you contributed six times more in income tax than corporations did.

But have you heard about how many of your tax dollars then end up in corporate pockets? It’s a lot — especially for corporations that contract with the Pentagon. They collect nearly half of all military spending.

The average taxpayer contributed about $2,000 to the military last year, according to a breakdown my colleagues and I prepared for the Institute for Policy Studies. More than $900 of that went to corporate military contractors.

In 2020, the largest Pentagon contractor, Lockheed Martin, took in $75 billion from taxpayers — and paid its CEO more than $23 million.

Unfortunately, this spending isn’t buying us a more secure world.

Last year, Congress added $25 billion the Pentagon didn’t ask for to its already gargantuan budget. Lawmakers even refused to let military leaders retire weapons systems they couldn’t use anymore. The extra money favored top military contractors that gave campaign money to a group of lawmakers, who refused to comment on it.

Then there’s simple price-gouging.

There’s the infamous case of TransDigm, a Pentagon contractor that charged the government $4,361 for a metal pin that should’ve cost $46 — and then refused to share cost data. Congress recently asked TransDigm to repay some of its misbegotten profits, but the Pentagon hasn’t cut off its business.

Somewhere between price-gouging and incompetence lies the F-35 jet fighter, an embarrassment the late Senator John McCain, a Pentagon booster, called “a scandal and a tragedy.”

Among the most expensive weapons systems ever, the F-35 has numerous failings. It’s spontaneously caught fire at least three times — hardly the outcome you’d expect for the top Pentagon contractor’s flagship program. The Pentagon has reduced its request for new F-35s this year by about a third, but Congress may reject that too.

Most serious of all, there’s the problem of U.S. weapons feeding conflicts in ways the Pentagon didn’t foresee, but probably should have.

When U.S. ground troops left Afghanistan, they left behind a huge array of military equipment, from armored vehicles to aircraft, that could now be in Taliban hands. The U.S. also left weapons in Iraq that fell into the hands of ISIS, including guns and an anti-tank missile.

Even weapons we sold to so-called allies like Saudi Arabia have ended up going to people affiliated with groups like al Qaeda.

Military weapons also end up on city streets at home. Over the years, civilian law agencies have received guns, armored vehicles, and even grenade launchers from the military, turning local police into near-military organizations.

Records also show that the Pentagon has lost hundreds of weapons which may have been stolen, including grenade launchers and rocket launchers. Some of these weapons have been used in crimes.

Taxpayers shouldn’t be spending $900 apiece for these outcomes. My team at the Institute for Policy Studies and others have demonstrated ways to cut up to $350 billion per year from the Pentagon budget, including what we spend on weapons contractors, without compromising our safety.

Even better, we could then put some of that money elsewhere.

Compared to the $900 for Pentagon contractors, the average taxpayer contributed only about $27 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $171 to K-12 education, and barely $5 to renewable energy.

How much more could we get if we invested even a fraction of what we spend on military contractors for these dire needs?

Most Americans support shifting Pentagon funds to pay for domestic needs. Instead of making Americans fork over another $900 to corporate military contractors this year, Congress should put our dollars to better use.

Republished with permission from Other Words, by Lindsay Koshgarian

OtherWords — Institute for Policy Studies

OtherWords — Institute for Policy Studies

OtherWords is a free editorial service published by the Institute for Policy Studies. Each week, we publish a package of op-eds and columns, plus an original cartoon, and distribute them to readers, editors, and publishers through our website and newsletter. Each year, hundreds of newspapers and websites reaching millions of readers use this work.

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Follow Us

Related Articles

Nov 26 2022

Early Voting Starts Today in Georgia Despite Republican Efforts to Block It

The Georgia Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled against the Republican Party attempts to block local election officials from conducting advanced voting the Saturday after...
Nov 24 2022

Huh? Herschel Walker’s Primary Residence Is in Texas?

The question of the day, “How can Herschel Walker represent Georgians when he doesn’t claim Georgia as his primary residence?”
Nov 20 2022

Why Conservative Parents Are Trying to Take Over School Boards

Hundreds of parents hoping to “take back” public education ran for school board seats in the midterms. What’s the actual job that awaits those who win?
Nov 16 2022

Some “Do’s and Don’ts” of How the News Media Should Responsibly Cover Trump’s New Circus

When it comes to Trump, journalists—if they are to serve the public interest—must realize they are reporting on a politician who regularly defies democratic norms and...
Nov 12 2022

Georgia Senate Candidates Back on the Campaign Trail as Trump Factor Could Again Aid Warnock

Trump has been blamed for helping Warnock and Sen. Jon Ossoff win in 2021 when he spent the time before the January runoff telling Georgians the state’s election system...
Nov 10 2022

How Can Congressional Insurrectionists Be Removed from Office Under the 14th Amendment?

There is no question that certain sitting members or newly reelected members of Congress do not qualify for office under 14th Amendment. The real question is whose job...
Nov 07 2022

Billionaires Have Spent Almost a Billion Dollars Trying to Buy the Midterm Election Cycle

According to an analysis released last week by Americans for Tax Fairness, U.S. billionaires who have seen their wealth skyrocket during the coronavirus pandemic have...
Nov 05 2022

New Report Confirms Corporations Use Inflation as an Excuse for Price Gouging and Profiteering

Under the guise of inflation, certain corporations excessively hiked prices far beyond what their costs necessitated, further driving inflation.
Nov 02 2022

What is “Christian Nationalism” and Why Has It Gotten So Loud

Christian nationalism is more than religiosity and patriotism. It is a worldview that guides how people believe the nation should be structured and who belongs...
Nov 01 2022

Dr. Oz Employs Jan. 6 Insurrectionists as Campaign Staff

One could get the idea that Dr. Oz might not actually qualify for the Senate since by hiring insurrectionists he has given “aid and comfort” to enemies of...
Subscribe for Updates!

Subscribe for Updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This