War Costs Americans More Than All State Governments Combined: Sherwood Ross

Friday, December 25, 2009

America has become a “warfare state,” spending more on its military than state or local governments do to provide for their citizens’ welfare, according to former journalist Sherwood Ross. Each year, Department of Defense expenditures exceed that of all 50 states combined in providing medical services, educating children, offering a safety net to the poor and protecting citizens against crime and fires. According to Joseph Henchman, director of state projects for the Tax Foundation, the 50 states collected $781 billion in taxes in 2008. Meanwhile, the U.S. defense budget for fiscal year 2010 will be at least $880 billion.

To demonstrate that the federal government’s priority is more on making war than preventing it, Sherwood points out that for every dollar spent by the State Department, the Pentagon spends $20. “As for the Peace Corps, its budget is a paltry $375 million—hardly enough to keep the Pentagon elephant in peanuts,” he writes.
-Noel Brinkerhoff


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