BINGHAMTON- Broome County, New York Cost of War members have been joined by Binghamton Mayor MatthewRyan in efforts to heighten public awareness regarding the excessive amount of local tax money that is being poured into the treasury of the Department of Defense, and into America’s wars.
Urged on by local residents, Mayor Ryan has decided to take the initiative of becoming the first mayor in the United States to decorate the main entrance of City Hall with a large, digital “Cost of War” counter, funded entirely by private contributions.
According to AlterNet, that counter will offer a constantly changing estimate of the total price Binghamton’s taxpayers have been paying to finance America’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan since October 2001. By September 30, 2010, the city’s war tax total will reach approximately $138.6 million- or even more if, as expected, Congress passes a request for supplemental funds to cover troop reinforcement in Afghanistan.
Mayor Ryan will have the counter placed “where everyone can see it, so that my constituents are urged to have a much-needed conversation. Every mayor in this country is struggling with one of the worst recessions we’ve ever seen, and we know better than anybody the negative impacts of diverting billions of tax dollars away from essential community needs to reckless wars and excessive US militarism.
“For the last five years, I’ve been advocating for a dramatic shift in spending priorities in Washington, toward what Dr. Martin Luther King called programs of social uplift. I’ve also always encouraged community dialogue around important issues that affect our daily lives. So I am pleased to support this awareness campaign, and delighted to see residents take a more active role in one of the most important issues of our times,” said Mayor Ryan.