Here’s How Much of Your Taxes Have Gone To Wars

“War is a racket.” –  Major General Smedley Butler

Last night I was watching a documentary on The Battle of Chosin Reservoir during the Korean War. I encourage everyone to view it. It lays out starkly the hell of war, something we should always be cognizant of when we choose to send our young people to fight.

It is said that war is fought by poor men, commanded by middle class men, and initiated by rich men. This is almost universally true.

And we should be aware that war is often, too often, the worst kind of crony capitalism.

(From Defense One)

As of Monday, the average American taxpayer will have paid nearly $7,500 to fund the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria since the 9/11 attacks, according to previously unreported Pentagon budget data sent to Congress this summer.

This fiscal year, each U.S. taxpayers will pay about $289 for both wars, according to the Defense Department data. Next year — fiscal 2018 — that number would drop to $281 per taxpayer, if Congress were to pass the White House’s spending request unchanged, which won’t happen. And there’s another reason that number is likely to change: the Trump administration’s plan to send more American troops to Afghanistan.

Americans paid the most for the wars in 2010, an average of $767 apiece. The annual amount declined through 2016 to $204 per taxpayer, before growing again as the U.S. ramped up its airstrike campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Why do we know this? The 2017 National Defense Authorization Act ordered the Pentagon and IRS to compile and publicly post the information on the Defense Department’s website. Rep. John Lewis, D-Georgia, added the legislation to the defense policy bill last year after numerous earlier attempts.By October of next year, the Pentagon’s share of the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Syria will have collectively cost taxpayers more than $1.5 trillion, according to the Defense Department’s figures.

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