America’s Budget: Cuts Need to Be Made Fairly

The news this week has been dominated primarily with stories about the government budget, particularly raising the debt ceiling.

I found a link with an interactive way to view the budget allocations for 2010:

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2010/02/01/us/budget.html.

Common Dreams also posted an article on its website on July 12 with a helpful visual of the way money is distributed:

http://www.commondreams.org/view/2011/07/12.

In the first link, there’s an option to “Hide Mandatory Spending” and if you click on that, it’s pretty shocking to see how much non-mandatory spending is devoted to the military. And in the second link, it’s impossible to wonder why more than HALF of the discretionary budget is spent on the military.

Several of my friends and acquaintances are in the military, and of course their service to the country is appreciated. But with the humongous chunk of money they’re getting, it’s really frustrating to hear about continued cuts in areas that, in comparison to the military, receive such minute portions of the budget, particularly education.

There’s always news about teachers being cut and school programs being eliminated, but I have yet to hear any of my friends in the military complain about salary cuts or anything like that.

Politicians like to talk about the importance of education in America. If that’s the case, then why is it that education only received 4 percent of the discretionary budget? The high value the government places on education combined with the amount of money it receives doesn’t add up.

With 58 percent of the discretionary budget devoted to the military, the rest of the discretionary programs receive single-digit percentages of that budget. Why does food only get 1 percent? Veterans, who have already served the country, get a measly 5 percent of that money? Aren’t we pushing for green energy? If so, then why does that area only get 6 percent?

Right now the country is in serious debt, and Congress is working on raising the debt ceiling so that the US doesn’t default on the more than $14 trillion it owes (U.S. National Debt Clock at http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock.)

Maybe I’ve missed some news about cuts in funding for the military, but so far it’s all the other programs with little money taking the hit.

If we want America to continue to prosper and if we want to take steps to fix the budget, then cuts need to be made fairly. It does not make sense to take money from programs that barely have financial resources, and not take money from programs that receive significant funding.

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