Military Overspending

America, with having the title of being a well-recognized global military force comes a hefty price of also being the world’s largest military spender. According to the National Priorities Project, “U.S. military spending dwarfs the budget of the #2 country – China. For every dollar China spends on its military, the U.S. spends $2.77” (NPA). The NPA is a nonprofit, non-partisan federal budget research organization with the mission to make the federal budget accessible to the American public. They also mention that America’s 2015 military spending budget was more than the next seven leading military spending countries combined which were China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, India, France, and Japan. The military is taking up a substantial amount of America’s budget, while a portion of that budget must be allocated to different programs that can impact the country in a constructive manner like Green energy, education, and healthcare.

Burning coal has played a key role in generating electricity in America but this has also resulted in the harming of our environment. With today’s advancements in technology, Green Energy provides individuals electricity in a manner that helps preserve the environment. By removing a portion of the military budget and allocating it to Green energy, America will be in a better position for the future in advancements with power that is safe to generate. Focusing on an alternative like nuclear power results in the United States reducing harmful emissions in the air. In an article from a law journal written by Marisa P Kaley of Boston College Law School, Marisa states that “Unlike power plants that burn coal, oil, or natural gas to generate electricity, nuclear plants do not release any carbon dioxide as a by-product of the generation process. To the extent that nuclear power is a “clean” energy source, it is an attractive alternative to fossil fuels” (Kaley 146). Providing clean energy like nuclear power is one of several alternatives which should be funded if a fraction of the military budget was assigned to it.

            As time has passed, it has become increasingly difficult to succeed financially as individual in America and afford a good education. The increase in costs it have made it essential to receive education in order to obtain a higher source of income. Unfortunately, there are many college students who aren’t eligible for financial aid and cannot afford to start or continue their education. Allocating a share of America’s military budget to assist in creating more affordable means of education for individuals would be beneficial. John R. Thelin, a professor at the University of Kentucky which published a writing titled Why Did College Cost So Little? Affordability and Higher Education a Century Ago, where he emphasizes the differences in greater education costs today compared to a century ago. Thelin says, “Tuition charges, even when indexed for inflation, were low. For example, annual tuition at a prestigious, private East Coast university remained constant over two decades at about $120 to $150 per year (indexing for inflation, this would be the equivalent of a tuition charge of about $3000 today)” (Thelin 586). Shifting some of the military budget into education and its financial aid programs may help students afford the high inflationary educational costs which have been implemented in today’s school system.

Health care is considered more of a necessity rather than a want; however, according to the National Priorities Project, even though the healthcare and Medicare budget in 2015 took up a larger portion of the United States federal spending than military, it is still out of reach and unaffordable to many Americans. Allocating a portion of the military budget to health and Medicare would help make it more affordable to the working class American. Canada is a prime example of a country’s successful healthcare system.  According to an article by Wharton University of Pennsylvania named Is Canada the Right Model for a Better U.S. Health Care System? , they state “Canada provides universal access to health care for its citizens, while nearly one in five non-elderly Americans is uninsured. In Canada, coverage is not tied to your job or dependent on your income; rich and poor are in the same system, and enjoy equal access. Yet last year, Canada spent far less of its GDP on health care than did the U.S. — 10.4% compared with 17.8% in the U.S. — which was the highest percentage of any nation in the world, according to the World Health Organization” (Wharton). The article explains that although the United States spends more of their GDP on healthcare than Canada the deficiency of health care coverage may be due to the system we have in place. The article explains that United States tends to focus more specialist care and hospitalization as compared to Canada who focuses more on preventative primary care. Providing the healthcare system with additional funds to emphasize more on primary care rather than specialization can help lower medical costs to individuals, making health care more affordable.  

            The United States evolving into a global military power has been a story in the making for a significant amount of time. It is understandable seeing the amount of money spent in order to be considered a force not to be reckoned with. We may be considered the world’s police force but it is unnecessary to spend such an excessive amount on military spending when a portion of that budget must be assigned to essential programs which desperately need the money like green energy, education, and healthcare. Supporters of keeping the military budget high may claim that it necessary in order to maintain order and dominance but we already spend the most in the world by far and have asserted military dominance for many years so it is unnecessary money being spent. By relocating a portion of the military budget to these programs, the United States can offer a better balanced financial plan to better accommodate all Americans.     

 

Works Cited

Health Economics. “Is Canada the Right Model for a Better U.S. Health Care System?” Knowledge Wharton, 19 May 2017, knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article/lessons-can-u-s-learn-canadian-health-care-system/.

Marisa P. Kaley, Nuclear Power as an Alternative Green Fuel: Why Uprates to Commercial Nuclear Reactors Deserve to Be Eligible for Federal Loan Guarantees, and Why the DOE’s Decision to Make Them So Warrants Chevron Deference, (2016),

           http://lawdigitalcommons.bc.edu/ealr/vol43/iss1/6

The Office of Management and Budget. “Federal Spending: Where Does the Money Go.” National Priorities Project, http://www.nationalpriorities.org/budget-basics/federal-budget-101/spending/

Thelin, John. “Why Did College Cost so Little? Affordability and Higher Education a Century Ago.” Society, Dec. 2015, pg. 585-589. EBSCOhost.

 

Images:

National Priorities Project. “Total Federal Spending 2015”.Office of Management and Budget.

Ian Wright. “Renewable Energy Vs. Nuclear Energy -1 Year After Fukushima”. 2012.

Chloe Della Costa. “4 States Experimenting With Affordable Health Care. iStock. 2015.

Bettina Thiel. “Education Costs Drive Town Budget”. 2016