But not all tax hawks are happy. They see easy ways to make further cuts.
Well, they're easy until you actually sit down and think about them.
Here's one viral email:
U N B E L I E V A B L E ! ! Read and scroll all the way to the bottom. What is wrong with us??
How they vote in the United Nations:
Below are the actual voting records of various Islamic States which are recorded in both the US State Department and United Nations records:
Kuwait votes against the United States 67% of the time
Qatar votes against the United States 67% of the time
Morocco votes against the United States 70% of the time
United Arab Emirates votes against the U. S. 70% of the time.
Jordan votes against the United States 71% of the time.
Tunisia votes against the United States 71% of the time.
Saudi Arabia votes against the United States 73% of the time.
Yemen votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Algeria votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Oman votes against the United States 74% of the time.
Sudan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
Pakistan votes against the United States 75% of the time.
Libya votes against the United States 76% of the time.
Egypt votes against the United States 79% of the time.
Lebanon votes against the United States 80% of the time.
India votes against the United States 81% of the time.
Syria votes against the United States 84% of the time.
Mauritania votes against the United States 87% of the time.
U S Foreign Aid to those that hate us:
Egypt, for example, after voting 79% of the time against the United States,still receives $2 billion annually in US Foreign Aid.
Jordan votes 71% against the United StatesAnd receives $192,814,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.
Pakistan votes 75% against the United StatesReceives $6,721,000,000 annually in US Foreign Aid.
India votes 81% against the United StatesReceives $143,699,000 annually.
WHY?WHO IN THE HECK STARTEDTHIS AND WHY?THEY ACTUALLY BITE THE HAND THAT FEEDS THEM.
Perhaps it is time to get out of the UN and give the tax savings back to the American workers who are having to skimp and sacrifice to pay the taxes.
Pass this along to every taxpaying citizen you know.
Of course, when complicated statistics are involved, it's always best to check them.
In the case of these countries' voting records, the viral email author doesn't explain his methodology. Fortunately for us, Snopes made an attempt to compile the statistics. Fortunately for our email author, they come to similar results, for roll-call votes. Most "votes", however, are not by roll call (making it impossible to determine who voted with and against the United States), or are voted in by consent (where no one objects). So, when someone says, "This country has voted against us x% of the time", they're only counting the most contentious issues, for which a roll call was ordered. Not that it's unusual to disagree with the United States on the most contentious issues - allied countries such as England and France vote against us about 40% of the time.
Now, as for the notion that we should "get out of the U.N. and give the tax savings back to the American Workers"? Well, our foreign aid to these countries isn't set by the U.N. They're decided by congress and approved by the president.
And, quite frankly, when even our allies, in the most contentious issues, are voting against us 40% of the time, it's probably in our best interest to be able to cast veto votes in the United Nations. A power that we'd lose if we left. A lesson that the U.S.S.R. once learned the hard way.
And if we explicitly tied our foreign aid to U.N. votes... well, I'd hate to see how that would "spin" against us.
But let's take a look at some of these foreign aid figures:
For Egypt - Yes, we are paying two billion dollars annually in aid. However, the vast majority of this is military aid. In exchange for this aid, the United States is getting priority passage through the Suez Canal. And, unofficially, when we're Egypt's biggest arms dealer, the Egyptians have a very good reason to maintain a peaceful relationship with Israel.
In Pakistan - again, most of the money is for military aid. In exchange, they've pledged to support our actions in the region. And, as their support has weakened, so has our aid.
And, in Jordan, we're seeing the same trend. Most of the assistance is military. With the expectation that they'll maintain peaceful relationships with Israel, that they will provide logistic support to our efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and that they will make efforts to stop militants from attacking Israel.
Now, the wisdom of these schemes are certainly areas of reasonable debate.
"But," our viral emailer writes, "American workers are forced to scrimp and sacrifice to pay" for these programs.
Well, let's take a look.
The IRS says that, in 2009, they processed 144,103,375 individual tax returns. In 2007, they processed 14,752 corporate returns, and 3,989,893 S-Corporation returns. And, in 2008, they processed 3,146,006 returns for partnerships. In total: 151,254,026 entities filed income tax returns.
Okay, not every person or entity filing income tax returns will be required to pay taxes. Let's suppose that only half of them do. That would create 75,627,013 taxpayers.
So, if you divide the costs of foreign aid to Egypt, Jordan, and Pakistan amongst that tax base - these efforts are costing an average of $118 per taxpayer.
I never said that military hardware was cheap. But it's not bankrupting too many taxpayers.