Would They Ever Vote For a Profit-less War?
Politicians Get Rich from the US's Endless Wars
Though weaponeers contribute little to members of Congress compared to, say, the pharmaceutical lobby, they remains a powerful lobby. We excerpt two 2013 articles from (1) AlterNet, Feb 21, on contributions by J. Knefel; and (2) Barrie Examiner, Feb 13, on a solution by Erich Jacoby-Hawkins (the critic for the National Revenue & Ecological Fiscal Reform portfolio on the shadow cabinet of the Green Party of Canada).
by John Knefel and
Meet Six Politicians Getting Rich from America's Endless Wars
Below are the six members of the House whose primary industry donor in the 2012 election cycle was the military sector.
1. Howard “Buck” McKeon (R-CA): $566,100.
2. CW “Bill” Young (R-FL): $229,760. Since 1989, Young has received $1,440,385 from defense PACs and individual contributors. The congressman also earmarked millions of federal dollars to a defense contractor that employed his son.
3. Charles Albert “Dutch” Ruppersberger III (D-MD): $229,550. Dutch co-sponsored a bill, called the Cyber-intelligence Sharing and Protection Act, or CISPA, that permits private companies to share information on consumers with "intelligence" agencies, which could use the data however they see fit.
4. Morris “Mo” Brooks (R-AL): $202,020. He managed to keep $403 million in a budget for a missile project the military didn't want, in which Boeing, a major contributor to Brooks, was the lead contractor.
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JJS: People complain about how politicians spend their money but they still give politicians money to spend. Instead of letting politicians decide who’s going to get public money, why not return it to the public in equitable shares? And if you disburse public revenue ethically, why not raise it ethically? How? By recovering the socially-generated value of land and resources.
Tax Reform Badly Needed in Communities
There are two big problems with our property taxes: they are too high, and too low.
How can that be? Because property tax is actually two taxes: a tax on land, and a tax on buildings.
Taxing land value is fair, because a site’s value stems from the community around it; land rent is higher in the middle of a bustling city than in a quiet village, and higher in a town than in a remote wilderness.
On the other hand, taxing the value of buildings is harmful, penalizing those who maintain or improve their properties while rewarding those who let them run down.
Even worse, property taxes subsidize speculators who hold valuable land vacant. With no building, they get a tax break for as long as they want, waiting for a big payoff when someone else finally pays the inflated price to build.
In the meantime, those willing to contribute to the local economy now are driven to the green spaces at the edge of the city, creating sprawl.
Under a land tax, long-vacant downtown lots will come back on the market at reasonable prices, reducing the pressure to sprawl past the city’s edges. Downtown becomes a place to do business, not a place to gamble on land values. With urban land no longer held vacant and wasted, green spaces need not be paved over.
This approach has been tried, and it works every time.
It’s time for Ontario to allow cities to implement this tax reform to, at no cost to us, improve our local economies.
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JJS: Another benefit of public recovery of ground rent is that it lowers the cost of housing, which raises the rate of home ownership. When people can feel more secure and better about themselves, then they grow less susceptible to war fever. When people are no longer taxpayers but respected citizens, then they may feel better about themselves and think more clearly about life and death issues.
Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the “Land Rights” course, click here .
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