Have you checked your government’s budget lately? “Parade” magazine published a partial chart of federal outlays for the last fiscal year. The top three expenses; Social Security ($615 billion), Defense ($583 billion), and Medicare ($389 billion). Those are the dollar figures Parade provides. You’ll get a different figure if you look at the actual report.
Here’s the whole document, if you’d like some reading to get you to sleep tonight.
A certain group of people will decry the expenditure on Defense. But what does that expense really involve? It’s not primarily “guns and bombs” [the “procurement” portion of spending–$133.5 billion]. Mind that “procurement” also includes acquisition of many vehicles and supplies that have non-aggressive–even life-saving–functions. Examples would be the procurement of medical equipment used to treat troops and the foreign civilians, refugees, and natural disaster victims that are aided by our military’s humanitarian campaigns.
In fact, a substantial portion of the Defense Budget, larger than the “procurement” outlay, is spent training, feeding, and housing the troops and their families. VA care is lumped under Social Security spending, and accounts for $38 billion dollars, but let’s face truth–it’s military spending. Defense spending includes FBI expenditures, scientific research and development, and compensation for veterans exposed to radiation or energy related “occupational illness”. In other words, if you eliminate or drastically reduce such spending, you are working against the advancement of social justice.
Liberal fans of “universal healthcare”, public education, and state food and housing assistance should be big fans of military spending, because it provides those to troops, their spouses, and their children. It’s the closest thing we have to socialism, in some ways.
How’s that for unconventional thinking? Of the top three federal expenses, we get the most benefit from military spending (as the other two predominantly target the elderly, who have passed their prime in terms of material contributions to the community). I know I might be sounding a bit like a utilitarian here (which I am not–a person’s worth has far less to do with your “material contributions” than society thinks) but I’ll be making my case periodically with future mini-posts.
In fact, military R&D stands to drastically cut carbon emissions and fuel expenses…I can’t imagine the angst that’ll be unleashed when global warming alarmists find out military spending may be one of our best hopes for curbing carbon emissions!