Friday, July 22, 2011

Budget Trade-Offs

I'm beating on an old drum here, but with the present standoff over the budget and deficits, a post from Think Progress back in June is relevant. 

That post was written at the time that President Obama was set to announce his troop drawdown strategy for Afghanistan (which for the near-term only pulls out the troops he had "surged" in and so effectively isn't much of a reduction at all...in other words, the long slog in Afghanistan continues with no end in sight).  Here are some things that we gave up this year alone (FY 2011) to pay $113 billion for this war:

  1. Provide 57.5 Million Children With Low-Income Health Care For 2011
  2. Provide 23 Million People With Low-Income Health Coverage In 2011
  3. Give 20.2 Million $5,500 Pell Grants To Students In 2011
  4. Provide 14.35 million Military Veterans With VA Medical Care In 2011
  5. Give 14.7 million Children Head Start Funding In 2011
  6. Give 14.26 Million Scholarships To University Students In 2011
  7. Employ 1.93 million Firefighters In 2011
  8. Hire 1.75 Million Elementary School Teachers In 2011
  9. Hire 1.65 Million Police Officers In 2011
  10. Equip 67.8 Million Households With The Ability To Use Wind Power In 2011
  11. Equip 25.39 Million Households With The Ability To Use Solar Photovoltaic Energy In 2011
Oh, to say nothing of the dead and maimed soldiers and civilians.  Yet a serious discussion of war funding seems not to be on the table...while cuts in our social programs for our most vulnerable citizens are. 

How misguided is that?

 

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