I am absolutely astonished at the United States military budget. This year alone, we will spend $466 billion dollars solely on our military. About $200 million is spent in Iraq every single DAY, which means the total cost will most likely exceed $1TRILLION when it’s all said and done (if its ever all said and done).
Sit down for a second and try to wrap your mind around that word trillion. Can’t do it? Ok, try 200 million. Hard to do, isn’t it? I found some websites (here’s one) that help put our military budget into perspective, and I’ll use this example because I’m hungry and kinda fat: Suppose I want to buy pizza for a few people with the $200 million dollars I have in my budget. DaVinci’s charges $10 for a pizza, so I’d be ordering 730 pizzas for each person in the United States. That would provide every man, woman and child in America with 2 pizzas a day for the entire year.
So, where does our priorities get mixed up in all this? Here’s an example! The United States has commited $1.4 billion dollars to Africa to fight malaria. All we need to do really is buy bed nets for people who can’t afford them. You have to commend the government for at least trying to fight poverty around the world, right? The thing is, that $1.4 billion is spread out over the next 5 years. Again, to purposely belabor the point, $1.4 billion will be spent on the military today alone…. and tomorrow…. and the next day….
We’re spending $200 million a day in Iraq because Saddam killed anywhere from 500,000 to 1 million Kurds. That’s a death rate of 25,000 to 50,000 people per year. Yet, we spend $800,000 a day on something that kills 2 million anually. If you’re hearing me say we shouldn’t be in Iraq or we shouldn’t have removed Saddam from power, you’re not hearing me (though I do still have questions). There’s just something wrong with our priorities.