Average US Taxpayer Gave $900 to Military Contractors Last Year

Most of us want our tax dollars to be wisely used — especially around tax time.

You’ve probably heard a lot about corporations not paying taxes. Last year, individuals like yourself contributed six times moreIn income tax than corporations.

Have you ever wondered how much of your tax dollars end up in corporate pockets afterward? It’s a lot — especially for corporations that contract with the Pentagon. They receive nearly half of all military expenditures.

The average taxpayer contributedAccording to a breakdown that my colleagues and me prepared for the Institute for Policy Studies, $2,000 was paid to the military last fiscal year. More than $900 went to military contractors for corporations.

In 2020, the largest Pentagon contractor, Lockheed Martin, took in $75 billion from taxpayers — and paid its CEO more than $23 million.

Unfortunately, this spending isn’t buying us a more secure world.

Congress added last year $25 billion the Pentagon didn’t ask for to its already gargantuan budget. Even lawmakers refused to allow military leaders to retire weapons systems. they couldn’t use anymore. The extra money was preferred by top military contractors, who gave campaign cash to a group o lawmakers. refused to comment on it.

Then there’s simple price-gouging.

There’s the infamous case of TransDigm, a Pentagon contractor that charged the government $4,361 for a metal pin that should’ve cost $46 — and then refusedTo share cost data. Congress recently asked TransDigm to repay some of its misbegotten profits, but the Pentagon hasn’t cut off its business.

Somewhere between price-gouging and incompetence lies the F-35 jet fighter, an embarrassment the late Senator John McCain, a Pentagon booster, called “a scandal and a tragedy.”

The F-35 is one of the most expensive weapons systems. numerous failings. It’s spontaneously caught fire at least three times — hardly the outcome you’d expect for the top Pentagon contractor’s flagship program. The Pentagon has reduced its requestCongress may reject new F-35s, but it could be reduced by around a third this year.

Most serious of all, there’s the problem of U.S. weapons feeding conflicts in ways the Pentagon didn’t foresee, but probably should have.

U.S. troops left Afghanistan with a large number of items. military equipmentThey could be in Taliban hands, including aircraft and armored vehicle. The U.S. also left weapons behind in Iraq, which fell into the hands of the Taliban. hands of ISISThis includes guns and anti-tank weapons.

Even weapons we soldThose who were once considered allies of Saudi Arabia ended up being allied with al Qaeda.

Sometimes, military weapons end-up on the streets of our cities. Over the years civilian law agencies have received weapons, armored cars, and even grenade launchesers from the military. local police into near-military organizations.

The Pentagon also lost records according to records. hundreds of weaponsSome of these weapons may have been stolen, such as rocket launchers or grenade launchers. Some of these weapons were used for criminal purposes.

Taxpayers shouldn’t be spending $900 apiece for these outcomes. My team at the Institute for Policy Studies, and others, have done this. demonstrated waysTo reduce the Pentagon budget by up to $350 billion annually, including the amount we spend on weapons contractors, while ensuring our safety.

Even better, we could put some of this money elsewhere.

The cost of the Pentagon contractors is $900, but the price of the The average taxpayer contributedOnly $27 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, $171 for K-12 education, and $5 to renewable energy.

How much more could you get if you spent just a fraction of what you spend on military contractors to help these desperate needs?

The majority of Americans support the transfer of Pentagon funds to domestic needs. Instead of asking Americans to give $900 more to corporate military contractors each year, Congress should use our dollars better.