A simple factoid, The United States of America 2009 Discretionary Budget stands at $ 1,182 billion, (hmm…it seems the title of this blog is somewhat inaccurate….). The discretionary budget is being used to fund all cabinet level departments, which in simple terms means the federal government.
Another interesting fact is that 68% of this $1,182 billion is for military/national security purposes. Now, each country has a right to defend its national security, but try to compare the yearly US military/national security spending (in the federal budget, not the entire budget mind you) with the estimated required amount to achieve the 2015 Millennium Development Goals (by Jeffrey Sachs at around $ 125 billion). That’s 5 to 1.
If the US Government just reduce its military spending by 20% and use that amount to help achieve MDG, the US Government might have no more enemies to fight in the future (since there is a lack of impoverished and disgruntled dudes waiting to be recruited by terrorist) thus freeing the US from their huge national debt. But well, if that happens, who will feed the defense contractors?
Heck, The Office of the Secretary of Defense budget stands at $ 4.162 billion. The office for the head honcho spend enough money to build about 20,810 schools in Indonesia (using the extremely conservative assumption of $ 200,000/school). That’s enough school to blanket every district on the most populous Muslim country on earth. Each year. The US Government is so worried about the threat of radicals and extremist, yet their budget doesn’t show capability in dealing with threats in a clever way.
The complete picture of US discretionary budget can be found here
Visit this link if you want to understand the source of some the numbers in that graph