Saturday, December 31, 2011

In a million dollar minute

The Pentagon is currently charging the US taxpayers approximately $1.9 million per minute, 24/7/365 (24/7/366 in 2012). The American people are beginning to understand that this is a lot of money and that some of it might be better spent on other things. Y'think?
A glance at the graph showing the escalating per capita levels of US citizen (not taxpayer, we mean your 2 month-old daughter and your 83 year-old grandmother) mandatory commitment to paying for nuclear weapons pointed the viability of the environment of planet Earth, for starters, is fairly overwhelming. We each, on average, pony up more than $4,000 each year to buy a range of services, largely devoted to forcing others to do what we want.

How it breaks down:

Budget Breakdown for 2012

Defense-related expenditure2012 Budget request & Mandatory spending[18][19]Calculation[20][21]
DOD spending$707.5 billionBase budget + "Overseas Contingency Operations"
FBI counter-terrorism$2.7 billionAt least one-third FBI budget.
International Affairs$5.6–$63.0 billionAt minimum, foreign arms sales. At most, entire State budget
Energy Department, defense-related$21.8 billion
Veterans Affairs$70.0 billion
Homeland Security$46.9 billion
NASA, satellites$3.5–$8.7 billionBetween 20% and 50% of NASA's total budget
Veterans pensions$54.6 billion
Other defense-related mandatory spending$8.2 billion
Interest on debt incurred in past wars$109.1–$431.5 billionBetween 23% and 91% of total interest
Total Spending$1.030–$1.415 trillion
Since the average US citizen pays approximately $8,500 in federal income taxes each year (again, this is deceptively low, since there are far fewer actual income tax payers than there are citizens), this means that half your income taxes, roughly, go to some aspect of the military. We can't put everyone to work, but we can pay for US bases in most of the nations on Earth. We can't have Medicare for all, but we can clutter space with military satellites. We are cutting public education and leaving our children in the lurch while we deploy thousands of troops to....Australia???

If the Occupy movement ever gets its focus, this is where you start. There is no greater single problem source than our military spending:
  • The more you spend on the military, the more you pollute.
  • The more you spend on the military, the fewer jobs you create or maintain.
  • The more you spend on the military, the less you can spend on the goods and services of life.

It is time. 2012 should be the year we get a grip on this. Resolved.

No comments: