FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Taxes, Death and Nuclear Weapons

We live in a world where as Benjamin Franklin said in 1789, “Nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” That statement remains true and the paradox today is the amount our taxes pay toward the death and destruction of mankind through the continued funding of nuclear weapons.

Nuclear weapons have now been declared illegal by last summer’s U.N. Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. This treaty bans the most dangerous weapons of mass destruction and places them as all other WMD’s, including biological weapons, chemical weapons, landmines and cluster munitions. Once fifty nations have ratified the treaty, it becomes international law ninety days later outlawing nuclear weapons and making countries that maintain them outlaw nations in breach of international law and actors outside of the international norm. Unfortunately, the United States is leading this pack of outlaw nations with its Trump Nuclear Doctrine and new arms race guaranteeing that all of the other nuclear nations will continue to follow suit.

This past year has seen significant progress and challenges toward the goal of abolishing nuclear weapons. Even though the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons was passed last July by a majority of the world’s nations, in view of international rhetoric and posturing, the Bulletin of Atomic Scientists moved the nuclear doomsday clock minute hand forward to two minutes till midnight, nuclear Armageddon, the closest since World War II. Aware of these realities, this past week, the City Council of the small California town of Ojai unanimously passed a Nuclear-Free Zone Resolution supporting the Ban Treaty and calling for divestment from institutions and companies that are involved in the financing, manufacture, development, stockpiling and testing of nuclear weapons.

This Tuesday, April 17, the United States will fund the 2018 budget through its Federal Tax dollars. As each spring brings forth hope and new life so does the funding of our priorities help realize these hopes. As the Rev. Jim Wallis says, “Budgets are moral documents.” Yet, seemingly oblivious to these hopes and desires, the US continues to march forward in a new nuclear arms race.

Each year Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles calculates the costs of all nuclear weapons programs to communities across the nation. The Nuclear Weapons Community Costs Projecthas identified that this tax day the United States will spend $62.7 billion on these now illegal weapons.

This renewed arms race and its funding deprives our nation and future of the precious resources we need to address our most critical problems. From the poorest county in our nation, Buffalo County, South Dakota with a population of 1,999 and a per capita income of $10,763 spending $138,411 to a wealthier state of California contributing more than $8 billion to weapons that can never be used, these are dollars that are woefully misdirected.

Every dollar spent is a dollar taken from our children and the meeting of the basic needs of our citizens.

Today our fiscally conservative leaders would do well to follow the words of their hero Ronald Reagan when he said, “A nuclear war cannot be won and must never be fought.” Yet who among our present leadership has the courage and understanding to stand up and realize these wise words.

We exist every moment of every day under the threat of nuclear annihilation. Either by intent, miscalculation or accident. Yet this is a future that does not have to be.

Ultimately it will take the people of the United States to follow the lead of Ojai, California and demand that our leaders work to fulfill their legally bound responsibility per the 48-year-old Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to work in good faith to abolish nuclear weapons. Fortunately there is a movement occurring across this nation to speak up and demand action and divest from these weapons and move back from the brink of nuclearwar. This resolution endorses renouncing first use of nuclear weapons, ending sole Presidential authority to launch nuclear war, moving our nuclear weapons off hair trigger alert, cancelling the $1.7 trillion new arms race and endorsing the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. Each of us has a role to play. It’s time to demand an end to the nuclear threat that endangers our children and everything we care about.

More articles by:
bernie-the-sandernistas-cover-344x550
Weekend Edition
August 16, 2019
Friday - Sunday
Paul Street
Uncle Sam was Born Lethal
Jennifer Matsui
La Danse Mossad: Robert Maxwell and Jeffrey Epstein
Rob Urie
Neoliberalism and Environmental Calamity
Stuart A. Newman
The Biotech-Industrial Complex Gets Ready to Define What is Human
Nick Alexandrov
Prevention Through Deterrence: The Strategy Shared by the El Paso Shooter and the U.S. Border Patrol
Jeffrey St. Clair
The First Dambuster: a Coyote Tale
Eric Draitser
“Bernie is Trump” (and other Corporate Media Bullsh*t)
Nick Pemberton
Is White Supremacism a Mental Illness?
Jim Kavanagh
Dead Man’s Hand: The Impeachment Gambit
Andrew Levine
Have They No Decency?
David Yearsley
Kind of Blue at 60
Ramzy Baroud
Manifestos of Hate: What White Terrorists Have in Common
Evaggelos Vallianatos
The War on Nature
Martha Rosenberg
Catch and Hang Live Chickens for Slaughter: $11 an Hour Possible!
Yoav Litvin
Israel Fears a Visit by Ilhan Omar and Rashida Tlaib
Neve Gordon
It’s No Wonder the Military likes Violent Video Games, They Can Help Train Civilians to Become Warriors
Susan Miller
That Debacle at the Border is Genocide
Ralph Nader
With the Boeing 737 MAX Grounded, Top Boeing Bosses Must Testify Before Congress Now
Victor Grossman
Warnings, Ancient and Modern
Meena Miriam Yust - Arshad Khan
The Microplastic Threat
Kavitha Muralidharan
‘Today We Seek Those Fish in Discovery Channel’
Louis Proyect
The Vanity Cinema of Quentin Tarantino
Bob Scofield
Tit For Tat: Baltimore Takes Another Hit, This Time From Uruguay
Nozomi Hayase
The Prosecution of Julian Assange Affects Us All
Ron Jacobs
People’s Music for the Soul
John Feffer
Is America Crazy?
Jonathan Power
Russia and China are Growing Closer Again
John W. Whitehead
Who Inflicts the Most Gun Violence in America? The U.S. Government and Its Police Forces
Justin Vest
ICE: You’re Not Welcome in the South
Jill Richardson
Race is a Social Construct, But It Still Matters
Dean Baker
The NYT Gets the Story on Automation and Inequality Completely Wrong
Nino Pagliccia
Venezuela Retains Political Control After New US Coercive Measures
Gary Leupp
MSNBC and the Next Election: Racism is the Issue (and Don’t Talk about Socialism)
R. G. Davis
Paul Krassner: Investigative Satirist
Negin Owliaei
Red State Rip Off: Cutting Worker Pay by $1.5 Billion
Christopher Brauchli
The Side of Trump We Rarely See
Curtis Johnson
The Unbroken Line: From Slavery to the El Paso Shooting
Jesse Jackson
End Endless War and Bring Peace to Korea
Adolf Alzuphar
Diary: What About a New City Center?
Tracey L. Rogers
Candidates Need a Moral Vision
Nicky Reid
I Was a Red Flag Kid
John Kendall Hawkins
The Sixties Victory Lap in an Empty Arena
Stephen Cooper
Tony Chin’s Unstoppable, Historic Career in Music
Charles R. Larson
Review: Bruno Latour’s Down to Earth: Politics in the New Climatic Regime
Elizabeth Keyes
Haiku Fighting
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail