Give The Pentagon Budget To The People: A Wish That One Day Will Be Fulfilled

by Evert Cilliers aka Adam Ash

ImagesEvery now and then I think of something crazy.

Like why don't we taxpayers sue Walmart for the $6.2 billion we have to supply to their workers in foodstamps and other help because Walmart doesn't pay its employees enough to live on?

Or why doesn't Obama, instead of paying out unemployment insurance, use that money to give to the unemployed some well-paid government jobs — to say, fix our crumbling infrastructure (bridges, roads, energy grid, etc.) or install solar panels on all our buildings to make us less dependent on oil?

Or why don't we as a country get rid of student debt by simply writing it off? And then find the money for free college education for everyone who want to go to college.

Where would we find that money to pay for free college for all Americans?

Well, by means of my latest foray into wish-fulfillment thinking: why don't we take the entire Pentagon budget that gets spent on new weaponry and divert it to pay for college educations for everyone or for free pre-K education to kids or something equally worthwhile?

Or why don't we reduce the entire Pentagon budget by 80% and use that money for socially useful purposes?

It's not as if we need the Pentagon. Or our department of Homeland Security, a total boondoggle.

Now that we're winding down our wars, and relying on drones to kill terrorists, how much of a military do we need?

Can't we just pension off 90% of our soldiers and generals, and when they all go to that great military academy in the sky, we'll have all their pension money to spend on something socially useful?

So let's start a movement, The Pentagon budget, which is the biggest part of our discretionary budget, should be used instead for peaceful, socially useful ends, instead of preparing for yet another war which we don't need.

We don't need another war in any event, for the simple reason that we keep losing them. Vietnam, Afghanistan, Iraq: are these successful wars? Would the world have been a better place, with fewer folks killed by us, and fewer of us dying in battle, if we haven't fought these wars?

Of course.

One consequence of cutting down our armies, would be that we wouldn't have enough soldiers to ever fight another war again.

And wouldn't that be a great thing?

Let's give the Pentagon budget to the people, and not to war-making.

Hey, maybe one day that will happen. Actually, I'm pretty sure it will happen, because America, as a nation, has the ability to come to its senses, as we did under FDR.

One day we will stop making war, and stop spending money on our war-making capability.

UnknownBut let's try and make that day come sooner, maybe within the lifetime of a 40-year-old American.

I believe that's possible. Once any feasible OK idea enters public discussion, something may be done about it.

Occupy Wall Street put income equality on the map, and now America is concerned about it, and so is the entire world.

Which means, sooner or later, something will be done about it.

That's all I'm saying, Let's start talking about using the incredible amount of money we spend on war-making on peaceful and socially useful things instead, and one day it will happen.

You with me on this?