Thursday, November 15, 2001 Volume 67, Issue 61



How would you spend your tax dollars?

Randy Woock

Money running a little low this month? Having trouble making rent, paying tuition, buying groceries, making car payments or any of those other troublesome monetary demands placed upon us peasants in a capitalist society?

Well, tough luck to you all. Unless, of course, you happen to design weapons of death and destruction for the American Military War Machine.

It seems those Knights of the Five-Sided Castle, a.k.a. the war-mongering bureaucrats in the Pentagon, have recently awarded a $200 billion contract to aeronautics company Lockheed Martin Corp. for the development of new high-tech fighter jets.

You read right: $200 billion! And keep in mind that these new fighter jets purchased with your tax dollars are good for only two things: blowing things up and killing people. These ultra-expensive pieces of military ordinance won't feed hungry children, cure diseases or solve traffic congestion on Interstate 45. All they can do is kill and destroy.

It's all for the bargain price of $200 billion. As if all those military boys who never got over playing GI Joe as children needed new toys to play with. New toys bought, I might remind you, with the tax dollars coerced from hard-working Americans like you and I. Well, like you at least.

Seriously, though, there's something inherently ludicrous about such an astronomically high sum of money going to produce weapons of mass destruction when there's so much else it could be used for.

How's about taking the money and putting it where it could help people instead of kill them? I'm sure the Social Security fund, which the Bush administration is finally going to get to tap into after eyeing it hungrily all year long, could use a little monetary shot in the arm. Why not take some of that $200 billion and plug it into something to help support American citizens in their old age after they've wasted their lives toiling away at soul-numbing jobs to fill the coffers of the rich and powerful?

Or would that be committing the sin of spending the people's money on the people, something our government seems morally opposed to?

The money being blithely thrown at military weaponry could just as easily be tossed in the direction of medical research for things like longevity research, cancer studies or AIDS research. Or why not use those 200 billion smackers to provide free health care for all Americans? Would you rather have shiny new airplanes for our military to play with or make your next visit to the doctor's office affordable enough not to require paying in installments?

There's a reason why the money we pay yearly in taxes couldn't be put toward helping us in our day-to-day lives. All those tax dollars could go a long way toward establishing free and efficient public transportation for everyone.

Or even better yet how's about using the money to provide us all with free college? Why not? UH, as a state college, is already subsidized with tax dollars. If the school can be subsidized, why not the students? It'd be a great alternative to student loans for those of us not muscular enough for football scholarships.

This is just a minuscule selection of the limitless possibilities such great wealth could be put to in ways that would benefit us all. So think long and hard about what you want your tax dollars to do help people, or kill them?

Woock, a senior psychology major, 
can be reached at

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