Friday, July 17, 2020

Tax Day 2020 Letter to Congressional Delegation

Tax Day actions in Des Moines this year were more simple than in years past.  A couple of peace group leaders met and agreed to send letters to Sen. Grassley, Sen. Ernst, and Rep. Cindy Axne for this Tax Day relating to military budget and use of nuclear weapons, as Tax Day was moved to July 15 because of COVID.
  See below the work of Patti McKee, Director, Catholic Peace Ministry, with input and signing from several other organizations including Iowa Peace Network.  The letter was sent electronically to each senator and representative, as well as hard copies.  We did get an answer from Sen. Joni Ernst, but she did not address the use of nuclear weapons, which was a main point in the letter.  Thanks for her response, though!

Tax Day 2020 Letter to Congressional Delegation

Dear Senator/Rep.

We are citizens concerned about the budget priorities of our country. On this Tax Day 2020 we want to voice our concerns about two very real threats to our state, nation and world.
The first threat is the building, deployment and growing risk of use of nuclear weapons.  A nuclear weapon used anywhere threatens the well-being of all. The second major threat to our existence is climate change catastrophe -- and the fact that research and manufacture of even more nuclear weapons squanders huge amounts of money urgently needed to combat climate change and meet human needs. 

The document “Warheads to Windmills: How to Pay for the Green New Deal” ( lays out how the US needs to work for world-wide abolition of nuclear weapons instead of building more of them. The document also looks at how people working for nuclear weapons research and production can transition to developing clean renewable energy. We have attached information from this document.

We need to put this transition in place sooner rather than later. The Bulletin of Atomic Scientists has put the “Doomsday Clock” at 100 seconds to midnight, largely due to the lack of action on moving toward a nuclear weapons ban and working to stop climate change. The coming US budget needs to focus on these two issues as well as funding for meeting human needs.

From the Global Campaign on Military Spending’s menu selection “Why Demilitarize?” (, we find an example of how this kind of transition could benefit our economy:

The Global Commission on Adaptation to climate change calculated in a report ( that an investment of $1.8 trillion (€1.6 trillion) across five key areas (early warning systems; climate-resilient infrastructure; improved dryland agriculture; mangrove protection; water resources resilience) over the next decade would yield a return of $7.1 trillion in economic benefits. $1.8 trillion is exactly what the world spent in the military only in 2018.

We understand that both issues are complex and will not be solved overnight, but our country’s priorities have been headed in the wrong direction with pulling out of nuclear treaties, asking for more funding for nuclear weapons, relaxing environmental standards and allowing more fossil fuel extraction rather than encouraging green technologies.  We also need to redirect tax dollars to overcome racial inequalities and address health care requirements, such as the COVID-19 crisis, which is why Tax Day was delayed until July 15.

We ask you to call for the US to re-enter agreements and treaties with North Korea, Russia, and others, for taking nuclear weapons off hair trigger status, and for a verifiable world-wide ban of nuclear weapons.

Also, we ask you to push for transition to clean green energy sources, for more regulations on emissions and extraction methods, and for incenting more energy efficiency.

Thank you for your consideration of these life and planet threatening issues.

Patti McKee
Catholic Peace Ministry and on behalf the following organizations:

Methodist Federation for Social Action, Iowa Chapter
Stop the Arms Race Political Action Committee
Iowa Peace Network
Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom

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