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article imageOp-Ed: 4 Reasons to cut the defense budget by 10%

By Justin King     Jan 10, 2014 in World
The budget of the United States military is the largest in the world. Below is a list of expenditures that could occur in exchange for a 10 percent reduction in defense spending.
The 2014 budget for defense is $856.5 billion, and a 10 percent cut would free up a little more than $85 billion. Even with the decrease in spending, the United States will still spend more than any other nation on Earth. In fact, the U.S. would still just about double the military spending of the next five largest defense spenders. In 2011, the next highest defense budget was that of China, followed by Japan, the United Kingdom, France, and Russia. When all five nation’s defense expenditures are combined they equaled $284.7 billion. It is safe to say the U.S. would maintain military supremacy even with the reduction in spending.
So, how could that $85 billion be better spent?
The United States could use the money to end world hunger, end homelessness in America, fund a manned mission to Mars, and provide every public school in the United States an approximate $295,000 grant. It isn’t a matter of picking one of these lofty goals to spend the money on. A 10% cut in defense spending would provide the money necessary to do all of these things.
End world hunger: The Borgen Project estimates that ending world hunger would cost approximately $30 billion. Certainly this endeavor might even buy the United States enough goodwill as to not need such a large military presence.
Fund a manned mission to Mars: The cost to send four astronauts to Mars on a one-way trip to start a colony is estimated at $6 billion dollars.
End homelessness in America: The price tag for this venture is $20 billion, a number developed by Mark Johnston, the acting assistant housing secretary for community planning and development. With that amount of funding, Johnson stated that homelessness could be effectively eradicated.
Fund public education: For $29 billion, the United States could provide each of the 98,328 public schools inside its borders with a grant of $294931.25. This includes every elementary, middle, and high school in the nation, as well as all special education, vocational, and alternative education public schools. That money, if broken down by student would be enough to buy each of the 49.5 million students a desktop computer for their home and a tablet to use at school. Another use for the $29 billion earmarked for education would be to provide each of the 3.3 million students that graduate each year with a check for $8787.00. That program would probably be more effective at encouraging kids to stay in school than ad campaigns.
America’s choice is a world without hunger, no homelessness in the United States, a better education for its youth, and building a colony on Mars; or more spending on programs like the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter, the airplane that cost over $400 billion to develop, but can’t fly at night or in bad weather.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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