There has been a lot of talk lately about deficits and such. It “seems” some of our politicians have finally gotten the message but this is not the first time so I am more than a little skeptical. But they still are living in a different world than the rest of us as they don’t seem to have a clue as to what causes this problem. They want to blame it on everyone except the elephant in the room. That elephant is shown on the graph to the right. This is the discretionary budget for 2011. You have to scroll down pretty far to see all of it but I think it is worth the effort.
Let’s say we eliminate the following departments entirely:
- Commerce (they keep business from gouging us)
- EPA (they make sure our air is breathable)
- Interior (they manage our national parks and such)
- Treasury (they keep our money flowing)
- Energy (they keep the oil companies at bay)
- NASA (they help manage our many satellites)
- Agriculture (they help our farmers)
- Justice ( they help us enforce our laws)
If we eliminate all these departments entirely we could cut our spending by 11%. That is a pretty substantial amount but eliminating those agencies would be pretty serious for our day to day living. But wait, there is another way to do the same thing and that would be to cut the military budget by15%. The military would probably have to order one less aircraft carrier, a few less million dollar bombs, and maybe even cut the Pentagon staff by a few percentage points.
Which would be better for it’s citizens? I don’t know of anyone who claims to have an IQ above 60 who would have to think much about this. But it seems that our politicians just can’t seem to understand! They say it is impossible to take even 1% from our military as then we would be putting our sons and daughters at risk. All the rest of the countries in the world manage their defense with a small iota of what we do and their sons and daughters are safer than ours. Of course the reason for that is that they don’t put them in harms way in the first place.
Do we really need to spend hundreds of times more for our military than almost any other country on the earth? Do we really need to be the “enforcer of democracy” around the world or can that happen within the population actually seeking democratic freedoms? Do we really need to be the policemen of the world? How about we change and become a peacemaker superpower instead? I bet we could do that and eliminate our deficits at the same time.
If all you have is a hammer everything looks like a nail.
If all you have is a military on steroids then everything looks like a conflict we need to be involved in.
But what to I know….
Thanks to my Quaker friends at One Minute for Peace for providing me with the graph to the right. See them at: