The average US taxpayer sent $58 to fund antiwar diplomacy efforts versus $5,109 for militarism and its support systems.

By Lindsay Koshgarian, TRUTHOUT

Every year at tax time, the National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies releases a tax receipt to show where your federal income tax dollars go.

US budget on a frisbee, showing that Pentagon budget is more than 50% of US budget, Des Moines, Iowa

Every year, militarism in all its forms is one of the biggest expenses on the receipt. From war and weapons, to deportations and detentions, to prisons and policing, budgeting choices made in Congress mean that every U.S. taxpayer will contribute to these systems of violence and oppression. By comparison, almost every constructive government program — from public health and environmental protection to education and disaster management — is woefully underfunded.

For 2023, the average taxpayer will have contributed $5,109 to militarism and its support systems, including war and the military, homeland security, federal law enforcement and veterans’ programs. The biggest portion of that tax bill is for the Pentagon itself at $2,974. More than half of that, $1,748, goes to corporate contractors that benefit from U.S. militarism. That’s more than the average monthly rent in the United States.

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