Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, and a link he would've liked

A Memorial to a Hero Needs Your support!: "The Martin Luther King Jr. National Memorial will be the first on the National Mall to recognize a person of color and a man of peace, not a president or a veteran of war. In 1996 Congress authorized the Memorial Foundation to raise funds to establish a national memorial to honor the legacy of Dr. King on the National Mall. ... After many years of fund raising, the memorial is only $14 million away from its $120 million goal."

Where Do Your Tax Dollars Go? - TaxDay 2010 | National Priorities Project: "With this publication, taxpayers can take stock of how the federal government spent each 2009 income tax dollar: from 26.5 cents for military-related spending to 13.6 cents for military and non-military interest on the debt to 2 cents for education. The publication also shows, in addition to individual income taxes, where the money came from in 2009 to pay for the federal spending."


  1. One wonders how the National Priorities Project calculated their figures. "...from 26.5 cents for military-related spending..." Looking at the 2009 budget, the DOD appropriation was $515.4 billion, or just under 17% of the $3.1 trillion total spending; even if you include the entire Global War On Terror appropriation (which includes a lot of non-military spending), it totals $660.6 billion, or 21% of the total. " 13.6 cents for military and non-military interest on the debt..." Yes, the debt is "military and non-military", but that's a very misleading turn of phrase; it would be very hard to make a case that either our current deficit or our past debt is military driven. For the 2009 expenditures, you could cancel the war on terror, and totally eliminate the entire Dept. of Defense- and we would still be $740 billion in deficit! The same is true for almost every past year's deficit; even under the Reagan military buildup, there were two years in which the deficit was larger than the entire DOD budget, and two more years in which the deficit was larger than the DOD budget minus the Coast Guard (which is more in the nature of a police dept) and the National Guard (also largely a domestic emergency service).

  2. Joel, they've got some small print about their breakdown, but it doesn't go into detail. People do run the numbers in lots of ways.

    But I'll stand by this: we spend too much on the military and not enough on our citizens.

    Uh, not that the solution is as simple as shifting money from one column to the other, of course. But that would be a good place to start.