It’s Tax Day this week. In OtherWords, Lindsay Koshgarian has some stunning facts about where your tax dollars go: the military. Or, more specifically, to private corporations that sell ludicrously expensive things to the military.

If you’re an average taxpayer, she writes, this year you paid twice as much to these contractors than you did to care for all living veterans combined. In the state of Ohio alone, a simple 1 percent cut in Pentagon spending would free up money to care for 15,000 more veterans.

The military often says these extreme expenditures are necessary for “modernization.” But, Adam Johnson asks, don’t we also need to modernize health care, education, and infrastructure?

Also this week, Negin Owlieai reports on the teacher strikes sweeping much of the country. What makes them special, she argues, is that teachers aren’t just organizing for their own paychecks, but for the well-being of their entire communities.

Meanwhile, Ebony Slaughter-Johnson takes a hard look at police shootings, which killed twice as many people last year as mass shootings. Shouldn’t they be part of the gun control debate too?

Finally, Jill Richardson says it’s up to adults (not kids) to stop bullying. Jim Hightower calls Betsy DeVos the worst cabinet member. And Khalil Bendib finds it funny that the White House seems more willing to crack down on Russian oligarchs than American ones.


Khalil Bendib /

  1. It’s Time to Cut the Contractors Loose / Lindsay Koshgarian
    This year, average taxpayers paid twice as much to corporate military contractors than to caring for all veterans combined.
  2. Teacher Strikes Are About a Lot More Than Paychecks / Negin Owliaei
    Educators aren’t just fighting for their own salaries. They’re fighting to make life better for their entire communities.
  3. Police Killed More People Last Year Than Mass Shooters / Ebony Slaughter-Johnson
    The fight to curb gun violence must address the violence inflicted by law enforcement.
  4. ‘Modernization’ Is Media Code for Military Build-Up / Adam Johnson
    For some reason, the media treats shelling out trillions on the military like it’s a simple iPhone update.
  5. It’s Up to Grown-ups to Stop Bullying, Not Kids / Jill Richardson
    I hold the adults who did nothing far more responsible than the seven- and eight-year-olds who bullied me.
  6. Betsy DeVos Needs an Education on Ethics / Jim Hightower
    The student loan sharks who prey on veterans and single moms have a friend in Trump’s education secretary.
  7. Draining the Swampsky / Khalil Bendib
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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the editorial manager of the Institute for Policy Studies and the editor of 

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