Monday, February 06, 2006

What If Pentagon Budget's $439.3 Billion Was Used For Peace Instead Of War?


The Bush White House has requested $439.3 billion for military spending in 2007. That eye-popping amount doesn't include war costs that will amount to $125 billion this year and at least $50 billion next year.

$439.3 billion is a lot of money. Here's what that amount could buy if our nation spent it for peaceful purposes, instead of for death and destruction (and to pad the pockets of Halliburton in closed, no-bid contracts):

1. $5 billion. Could build a new $60 million hospital in each of the 16 biggest cities in the U.S., a $40 million hospital for each of 50 smaller cities and a $4 million clinic for 500 small towns.

2. $20 billion. Could be used for cancer research.

3. $40 billion. Could be used to plant a billion trees along highways, in cities, towns and in the countryside.

4. $40 billion. Could build 1,000 new colleges at $40 million apiece.

5. $10 billion. Could build 10,000 youth centers at $1 million each.

6. $50 billion. Could supply 25 million farm families in Third World countries with gasoline-driven tractors.


$274 billion for defense and other expenses.

Source (adjusted for inflation): The People's Almanac by David Wallechinsky and Irving Wallace.


Anonymous said...

For a tiny slice of Bush' defense budget, we could have state-of-the-art levys that would protect New Orleans for decades to come. For a fraction of that budget, too, we could be a world leader in solar and wind power and never have to depend on overseas oil again. But all this would be too logical for our corrupt leaders to embrace.

Anonymous said...

Four years after 9/11, the nation's container ports remain completely vulnerable and un-guarded. Not a fucking thing has been done to secure them. (This is one of the reasons the 9/11 Commission gave the Bush White House an "F" for its efforts to protect America from terrorism). For only a fraction of the Pentagon budget, we could safely secure the nation's ports.

Anonymous said...

Our nation's nuclear power plants also remain highly vulnerable to a terrorist attack. Amazingly, very little has been done to secure them since 9/11. And speaking of nukes, they are readily available on the international black market. Bush actually cut funding to secure loose nukes in Russia---and we were already spending chump change on this to begin with (only a few million dollars a year---or what the Pentagon blows through in a typical one-hour period).

Anonymous said...

What I find amazing is that, here we are 5 years after 9/11 and the luggage that goes into the cargo holds of all commercial airliners in this country is STILL not being screened. I guess it'd be too much of an inconvenience for the airlines (although Bush was only too happy to bail them out with $20 billion in taxpayer-back loans).

Anonymous said...

I agree, please try to think before commenting next time. The US spends more on national defense each year than the next 10 countries combined. Here's the breakdown just for HOMELAND DEFENSE in 2003:

As you can see, the money IS actually being used. And screw solar power, it only harvests 15% of the sun's energy with state-of-the-art panels (which are ridiculously expensive).