Iowans for Ice Cream Based Priorities
The thing is, folks, when they throw that Wheel of Fortune colored pie graph at you, showing how BIG the defense spending is, what they are really showing you is DISCRETIONARY spending, not total spending. That is, this the amount of spending that Congress can vote on, not the total amount spent by the government, especially on FORCED spending, like Medicaid, Medicare, etc.
Here's data from the 2007 Proposed Budget, in billions:
Department Discretionary Mandatory Total
Defense $503.055 $ 1.808 $504.863
Health & Hm Services $70.635 $627.315 $697.950
Social Security $ 9.541 $614.917 $624.458
As you can see, HHS has a larger budget than Defense, but because the majority of Defense is Discretionary, it seems like a ripe target to pick apart. We are not forced by law to spend so much on Defense as we are on HHS (which includes Medicaid, Medicare, welfare, etc) and the Social Security Administration.
I'd like it for liberals to understand that while we have a fairly large defense budget, we have an even larger budget for the kinds of things they clamor for, such as insurance, medical services, welfare, disease prevention, etc. The total expenditures on HHS and SS are $1.3 TRILLION a year!
And, as a country we are not the worst offender in terms of defense spending per GDP. That award goes primarily to Islamic countries (12 out of the top 20). Russia is also above us in defense per gross domestic product. A strong defense is necessary to protect the components producing that level of GDP.
OK, I could probably stand a little less expenditure on Defense; I'm not convinced we need to be the World's Policeman, even if we're the only one out there capable of doing so. However, I also think we spend too much on other items, such as welfare, education, etc. I know, I sound like an EVIL conservative, but that's my world view; deal with it, pink boy!
So, you think you've got a better way to balance the budget? Check this out: The National Budget Simulation. Now you can play God (or Karl Rove) to slice and dice the budget like so many Ronco Slicermatics. Take that Granny! You too, Poindexter! Enjoy the game, children.