Pulling the Pentagon's Plug

Suppose next April 15 someone comes knocking on your door, asking for your annual donation. With your generous financial contribution, you are told, the United States will remain strong and secure.

For example, they say, Sandinistas could be made to cry "uncle," and the Immigration and Naturalization Service could more effectively capture and deport Central American refugees. Open access to Persian Gulf oil supplies could be maintained. More first-strike missiles could be deployed in Europe and MX missile silos built at home. Star Wars research could expand, and space shuttles could orbit more military surveillance satellites. And much, much more.

How would you respond? Would you sit right down and write a check, or would you slam the door?

Probably most of you would not voluntarily donate money for these or similar purposes. Yet this spring, when you fill out your 1040s and pay your tax bill, that's exactly how your money will be used.

If your 1985 federal tax liability totaled $4,000, nearly half that amount--$1,720--was used to finance current and future military goals. Here is how your $1,720 was used in fiscal 1985, as derived from information supplied to us by the Coalition for a New Foreign and Military Policy.

You spent $224 to protect the United States from military invasion. Of that amount, our second-strike nuclear arsenal cost you $172, while your border defense tab (including INS funding) was $52.

You shelled out another $636 to directly threaten and contain the Soviet Union. Most of that amount--$473--supported our massive land and air force occupation of West Germany. The remaining $163 helped research, test, develop, and deploy first-strike nuclear weapons. Partially breaking down those first-strike totals even further, you gave $39 for nuclear warheads, $16 for MX missiles, $12 for Trident D5s, $9 for Star Wars research, and $2 for Pershing Us.

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