An estimated 54% of the US Federal Budget is devoted to military spending. If you heard Monday's Presidential debate, you know that at least one of the two major party candidates wants to increase military spending by another $2 trillion. To put this all in perspective, the "2009 U.S. military budget accounts for approximately 40% of global arms spending. The 2012 budget is 6-7 times larger than the $106 billion of the military budget of China and is more than the next twenty largest military spenders combined" (Wikipedia). We can only guess what will happen to these numbers with a defense budget increase.
This month, to honor the birth of two of the world's great peacemakers, Mahatma Gandhi (Oct 2) and St. Francis of Assisi (Oct 4), I want to offer a simple proposal that can help bring peace to the world: How about divesting from war and investing in peace?
It's a pretty simple proposal, really. The IRS allows you to donate up to 50% of your adjusted gross income to charities that qualify as 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organizations By doing that, you take money that you would otherwise pay in federal income tax and redirect it towards the charities of your choice. Can it work? If you can reduce your net income sufficiently through these deductions, you will pay no federal income tax. This is an entirely legal means of reinvesting your income in things that matter to you, that benefit your community, and that help create Heaven on Earth. If you have concerns about not paying for needed services such as road maintenance, just consider that for every gallon of gasoline you buy, the government collects 50 cents in excise taxes that fund these types of services.
To set up your own plan for investing in peace, please consult a qualified accountant. It may take some resourcefulness and careful budgeting, but this path to peace is legal, ethical, and attainable.
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