America: Heartless, Penniless And Clueless

Funny in a “jesus-christ-can-it-get-any-more-frustrating”  sort of way, Americans have reached a broad consensus on the best way to trim federal spending. The answer? Reduce foreign aid. After listening to a few nights’ worth of right wing talk hate radio on my twice-weekly commute, I can almost forgive the segment of the population who listens to such tripe earnestly their ignorance. Ever since the uprisings in the Middle East have turned every wing nut into a foreign policy expert, they all can’t stop talking about how much money we send abroad. Of course, this has also been a plank in the Libertarian/Ron Paul platform for years. Foreign aid is crippling the country and must be slashed!

Ok. Fine. Done.

Congratulations, America! You just dealt with nearly 1% of the federal budget! Luckily, we’re also increasingly willing to put defense spending on the table. That’s good because it’s a much, much bigger piece of the budget puzzle. Except we also have no clue how big of a piece it is (answer: nearly seven times that of our next biggest competitor, China). Cutting that in half would still be spending nearly a half trillion bucks and we’d still be 4.5 times ahead. Now, let’s imagine what would happen if an elected official suggested cutting the defense budget in half.

Ok, now imagine it was a Democrat who proposed it.

If we are ever to get back on track in this country, we are going to have to have an adult conversation about our priorities and the best way to achieve a stable and prosperous economy. Ideally, the top economists and experts in monetary policy would objectively evaluate the proposals and come up with the ones that offer the most equitable system we can muster. However, we wouldn’t be able to take the proposals to the citizenry because they think aid to other countries takes up a quarter of our budget. Oh, and by the way, you, as an individual, are contributing less to the effort than at any time since 1950. Just so you know.

 

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