News Release

Tax Day: “Buffett Rule” and Military Spending


Yesterday, Senate Democrats mustered only 51 of the 60 votes needed to advance President Obama’s “Buffett Rule” to impose a minimum tax of 30 percent on individuals earning over $1 million.

Today is the second annual Global Day of Action on Military Spending, coinciding with the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute’s release of global military spending figures. In 2010 the United States spent nearly five times more than the next closest country, China, according to the SIPRI 2011 report.

CHUCK COLLINS via Bob Keener, bob at
Collins is a senior scholar for the Institute for Policy Studies, and author of the new book “99 to 1: How Wealth Inequality is Wrecking the World and What We Can Do About It.” He said today: “The tax rules have tilted in favor of the 1 percent for 50 years. We need to institute the Buffett Rule and roll back the Bush tax cuts as the first step toward tax fairness and fiscal responsibility.”

JOHN FEFFER, johnfeffer at
Feffer is co-director of Foreign Policy in Focus, a project of the Institute for Policy Studies. He said today: “Almost every country with a military is on an insane path, spending more and more of our tax dollars on missiles, aircraft, and guns, while the planet is in crisis. These countries should be confronting the real threats of climate change, hunger, disease, and oppression, not wasting taxpayers’ money on their military.”

He recently wrote a piece titled “Arms Down,” which states: “Any demilitarization plan must begin with the United States. As the number one military spender and arms exporter in the world, the United States is the heart that pumps the blood that keeps the military-industrial complex functioning worldwide. U.S. arms manufacturers have gamed the system to maintain their dominance. They have set up their manufacturing in as many states as possible in order to buy the support of Congress. …

“To break out of this zero-sum situation and create a virtuous circle of military reductions, we must pursue a three-prong strategy. The first addresses U.S. military spending, the second focuses on the global arms trade, and the third creates incentives for countries to reorient their budget priorities.”