Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Yes, War Does Make Us Poor

Congressman Conyers and Grayson are on to a good idea by floating H.R. 5353. The "War is Making You Poor Act" seeks curb the out of control costs that the Defense Department burdens the American people with every year. While keeping our country safe is a top priority, the fact is we spend more on our military than the next top fifty countries combined.

H.R. 5353 is pretty cut and dry:

It seems that Rep. John Conyers (D-MI) would agree, perpetual war is making you poor.

To begin rectifying the situation, he's joined with Congressman Alan Grayson (D-FL) in co-sponsoring the "War is Making You Poor Act," which would limit defense spending to $548.9 billion: the exact figure alloted in the fiscal year 2011 budget.

Oh and there's this that might help sweeten the pot:

The act also seeks to utilize an additional $159.3 billion set aside for "discretionary" operations abroad to relieve the full federal income tax burden on every American's first $35,000 earned per year, or up to $70,000 per year for married couples.

While this is great news, it is only a start. Simply halving that massive budget would go a long way in solving many of our top domestic priorities, such as education, health care and job development to name a few (this pie chart helps put things into perspective). Unfortunately though, the defense industry is well staffed with many lobbyists that ensure that anything less than a large yearly increase for their weapons contracts would be akin to hating America and letting the terrorists win. If Conyers and Grayson could pass this Act, it would be a big step in the right direction, even if it only caps the spending where it is now.