Give Americans a royalty on arms sales, slap a VAT on the MRAP

Posted in Crazy Weapons, Culture of Lickspittle, War On Terror, WhiteManistan at 2:30 pm by George Smith

In the distant past I wrote that Americans ought to get something for contributing to this country’s position as the leading arms dealer to the world. The American people, out of their generous pockets, have underwritten everything that’s made our war machine the biggest in world history. We’ve paid for the development, purchase, maintenance and distribution of the world’s biggest, most expensive and most scary weapons. We have created through direct action, avarice, fear, voting patterns and general indifference the perfect business environment for the development of the globe’s most advanced and coveted killing technology. We continue to support, enhance and advertise it through the prosecution of continuous globe-spanning war. Our toadies and proxies look on with envy, just waiting for great deals on big fancy arms packages, bulk allotments of riot control chemicals, and anything related for use on neighboring failed states, their own people or both.

I wrote about it at GlobalSecurity.Org back in 2011 (gee, look at all those ‘likes’, how did that happen?):

Record numbers of Americans apply for food stamps and unemployment. Every job not in finance or arms manufacturing gets beggared or threatened with shipment to China. Saudi Arabia and Iraq get tanks. More and more tanks. There are never enough.

As a thought experiment, I am going to propose a war-profiteering dividend/tax on US arms sales.

Since the core markets for all these businesses are essentially guaranteed by the US taxpayer and government, it seems only fair Americans ought to be regarded as shareholders. And as shareholders, they ought to be in for some rewards. It’s the American way.

Let’s make the war-profiteering tax significant because, although even though I haven’t researched it yet, the US arms industry is probably quite adept at tax avoidance already. So I make it twenty percent of all profits in overseas arms sales — weapons, tanks, aircraft, ships, guns, ammo, bombs, missiles, rockets, chemicals, computer systems, engineering, construction, software, consulting services and support staff — everything.

Here’s the calculation, using SIPRI’s latest data:

20 percent of 247 billion in sales = 49 400 000 000

Further, I will propose a yearly war-profiteering dividend check for everyone in the United States on food stamps. According to Reuters: “For fiscal 2011, average enrollment is forecast for 43.3 million people.”

Here is the calculation:

49.4 billion divided by 43.3 million = 1 140.8776

Everyone on food stamps, no exceptions, gets a check from the protected US arms industry, for roughly $1,140.88. That would certainly be a help.

One could also extend the dividend to all tax-filers for a given fiscal year although it would probably cut the size of each check by at least two thirds.

The only people who wouldn’t be entitled to checks would be employees of the US arms manufacturing base. They’re already getting dividends as well as security. Of course, none of this has any chance of consideration. It’s all in the imagination, delusional. The protected industry of American weapons production is a third rail. No one will seriously discuss taking any big whacks at it.

Over the weekend, from the wire, a big sale of MaxxPro Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles to our famous ally and functional dictatorship in the war on terror, Pakistan:

WASHINGTON: The US State Department on Saturday approved the sale of 160 mine-resistant ambush protected (MRAP) vehicles to Pakistan at an estimated cost of $198 million.

Islamabad had requested 160 Navistar Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) vehicles with spare parts, support and test equipment, publications and technical documentation, personnel and equipment training, US government and contractor engineering, technical and logistics support services, and other related elements of logistical and programme support.

Following the State Department’s determination approving the sale, the Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) delivered the required certification notifying Congress of this possible sale.

“The proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a country vital to US foreign policy and national security goals in South Asia,??? DSCA said.

In 2011, I proposed a 20 percent tax to be collected on American bulk arms sales, to be paid back to the American people as a royalty.

Because times are worse for many Americans I now propose raising our theoretical value added tax to 30 percent.

30 percent of $198 million is $59,400,000

In essence, it would be a way of giving a small basic income to every American on a national resource we have been responsible for husbanding and making available to the world.

You could consider it as the the citizens of Alaska feel about their oil checks:

(Reuters) – Nearly every Alaska resident will soon be $1,884 richer, thanks to an annual payout from an oil wealth trust fund that has been credited with keeping many low-income families out of poverty, state officials said on Wednesday.

More than 640,000 Alaska residents will receive the payment from The Alaska Permanent Fund next month, which Department of Revenue Commissioner Angela Rodell says is the third largest since the state began paying such sums in 1982 with a $1,000 check.

The sum is more than twice the $900 paid to each Alaska resident last year and more than the collective payments from each of the last two years. But it is still off from a high of $2,069 paid in 2008.

Alaska’s Permanent Fund was established by a constitutional amendment passed by voters in 1976 requiring a portion of state oil revenues be put into a savings account to be available for the distant future …

A value added tax on the sale of arms could easily be thought of as a way of collecting money for a resource wealth fund, to be paid back to the citizenry as a royalty for its long and continuing support of the resource.

In this specific case, the block sale of 160 MRAPs to Pakistan.

It’s a perfect idea. Can you come up with a good argument against declaration of American-made Department of Defense-approved and battle-tested weapons of war as a national resource we’ve all made possible? Didn’t think so. Slap a value added tax on the damn thing and use it to pay back Americans. We made it possible. We’re the makers, not the takers. We want our share.

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