While statist clowns like Democratic strategist Paul Begala spend this April 15th issuing overwrought paeans to the glories of taxes and the centralized state — “On this day, our government asks that we pay our fair share of taxes to keep our beloved country strong and safe.” — it’s useful to remember just what exactly those taxes help pay for (hint: it’s not teddy bears and health care). Though Begala and his ilk tend to favor casting firemen and schoolteachers as the recipients of the bulk of U.S. tax dollars, Lockheed-Martin and nuclear weapons would be a more accurate portrayal, though that stark reality might cause some cognitive dissonance over at MSNBC and Daily Kos, where all opponents of federal taxation are said to be rabid, Glenn Beck-watching militiamen.
As Amy Goodman of Democracy Now noted this morning, a new report from the National Priorities Project finds “that more than thirty-seven cents of every income tax dollar goes to military spending. By contrast, environment, energy and science spending projects split 2.8 cents of every tax dollar, while housing, community and food programs split 3.8 cents.
So while Democrats are getting in a good, deserved laugh at the right-wing “tea party” protests today — rightly pointing out that big government-bashing Republicans were noticeably silent when President Bush ramped up federal spending more than LBJ — one should remember that, with Obama ramping up U.S. wars overseas and bailing out evermore failed Wall Street firms with taxpayer money, the last laugh is on you.