RANGER AGAINST WAR: Death and Taxes <

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Death and Taxes


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In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes
--Benjamin Franklin.

The 3/07 American Legion magazine features an illuminating graphic they've entitled "Life and Taxes--How the federal government divides our dollars." Here are some samples:

[1] Army--$111.8 Billion, +13%
[2] GWOT--Supplemental funding, $110 Billion
[3] Other Agencies (whatever this is)--$$24.381 Bilion, +26%
[4] Department of State--$33.858 Billion, +12%
[5] Customs and Border Protection--$6.580 Billion, +12%

Contrast the above to:

[1] National Institutes of Health, $24.428 Billion, 0% chg.
[2] National Cancer Institute, $4.75 Billion, -1%
[3] Allergy and Infectious Diseases Institute, $4.39 Billion, +1%
[4] Department of Health and Human Services, $68.27 Billion, +1%
[5] Administration for Children and Families, $12.287 Billion, -10%
[6} Department of Veterans Affairs, $35 Billion, +8%

Let's put the spending into perspective:

Cancer kills roughly 500,000 Americans per year, with about 1 in 4 deaths related to cancer. The cancer institute gets $4.75 Billion, while Homeland Security scores $30 Billion. How many deaths are caused by terrorism per year in America? Try the last 50 years, or the last seven; no matter how you cut it, the figure is miniscule compare to half a million per year.

Also interesting is that the Federal Prison System gets more funding than the National Cancer Institute.

A novel idea: let's focus national resources on problems that can be solved, before expending assets on long wars against illusory adversaries.

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