Billions Wasted

Michael Stowell’s points about the military getting 40 percent of the budget are well founded, and just to prove his point, in 2007, the U.S. spent $522 billion on the military, which was more than the next 30 nations combined (see [Letters, “Socialism and Its Discontents,” 3/11/10]. Apparently it was 50 percent of the budget that year, placing us first by a long way in military spending.

Wouldn’t we be better off investing in programs that keep people of the streets—education, I believe? Surely teaching our children how to navigate life’s hurdles and become productive members of society is better than throwing up more shelters to house them when they aren’t savvy enough to deal with job losses and money problems. I know that some of the unfortunates on the street don’t have the mental capacity to deal with these issues, but a great many of them do. The ones who cannot look after themselves shouldn’t be in shelters anyway, they should be looked after by our health service—and that brings up another great point, but don’t get me started.

Basically, cut our military spending in half and we would still outspend about the next seven nations combined, five of which are our allies. Use that money to provide our children with the best education in the world, provide our citizens the best healthcare in the world, and provide our elderly with the best social security in the world. And with the other $250 billion we can still invade all the places we don’t want to go, but only after we have fixed our problems here at home. After all, they are our tax dollars, right? — Ross Cathie

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