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As a national election approaches, it's a good time to reflect upon where your priorities are and how they align with the priorities of your  government.  A good place to start is with a little introspection.  (Go ahead, I'll wait...)

Examining the priorities of a government is a bit more difficult, but a great place to start is with knowing where your tax dollars go:

(link goes to large, 1.8 MB jpeg)

Follow me inside, where we'll do a little analysis of where our money does go, and where people like us probably think that it should go.

Let's focus on the left side of the graph first. 51% of our budget goes to military spending. That represents a total greater than what the next five countries combined spend on their militaries. Also note that this total does not include the billions of dollars passed in other bills that are specially earmarked for operations in Iraq.

Some other points of interest: 9 billion dollars for missle defense systems that don't work and aren't getting any better. 17 billion for maintenance on 6000 or so aging nukes. Russia has a comparable number and the next closest nation is France, with an estimated 350. (Russia and the US are allies now, so why can't we cut back?  How many times can you scorch the same piece of earth?)

All criticisms aside, the bottom line is that, thanks to outrageous amounts of spending, the military capability of the US is by far, number one in the world.


All right, so what about the right side of the graph? It mostly consists of domestic programs: things like health care, education, and science. So how do we stack up in those areas? Very poorly, as it turns out.

The literacy rate of the US rate is only 49th in the world. The US ranks only just above Mexico (22nd) in childhood poverty, and is ranked 41st in the world for infant mortality rates.  Women here are 70 percent more likely to die during childbirth here than in Europe. Twenty percent of Americans think the sun orbits the earth, and the ID "debate" has other countries laughing their asses off at us.

These and other appaling facts reveal systems that are broken in some places and starved for funds in others.

The take home message seems to be: "We can't take care of our own residents, but man, can we kill a lot of foreigners."

So how do we fix this imbalance?  Maybe we should pay teachers what they're worth. Maybe we should make sure that everyone has access to health care. Maybe we should quit sinking trillions of dollars into unprovoked wars.

Maybe it's just me, but I think it's time to listen to the left and shift the balance of that graph to the right.

Originally posted to spin2cool on Thu Aug 03, 2006 at 12:57 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tips (5+ / 0-)

    Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed.

    -- Dwight D. Eisenhower

    •  Nicely done (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Beautiful graphic, it's just missing the crooks, lobbyists and middle-men contractors on each spoke with their paws out to interrupt the flow of OUR dough.

      Maybe it's just me, but I think it's time to listen to the left and shift the balance of that graph to the right.

      Your priorities sound like my own. I agree with's currently lopsided in favor of greed, death and war. In an ideal world, WE, the people, would get to decide where our taxes go, but first we have to oust the lying stealing thugs who are robbing us blind.  What goes up, must come down. The world has had enough of this crap.  

    •  You missed a comma, (0+ / 0-)

      after the word, "signifies."
          I live a 2 hour drive from the Dwight David Eisenhower Presidential Library and Museum, locally known as the Eisenhower Center.  I went there a couple or three years ago.  Those words are carved in the marble above and to the right of his tomb.  The one on the left is about how well Americans have done in building America.  The one seen facing forward is about humility in the face of receiving adoration for achievements that others died to achieve.  And this one on the right.
          Putting these words on here caused me to find the speech, to check for accuracy.  I had trouble, but I found it.  I printed the whole speech.
          Thank you for stimulating me to dig a little deeper.

      Big Jack Kelly, the Smartest Guy in the World, the Arrogant Autodidact, the Sage Amongst His Books, the Seeker of Truth who Found It.

      by bigjacbigjacbigjac on Thu Aug 03, 2006 at 04:32:37 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hint (0+ / 0-)

    linking the image to open a new browser window will allow folks to tile the image and your text, making it easier to follow.

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