President Trump wants to increase our defense budget by $54 billion. I think we could probably use the money in other ways.
- VA requested a 15% ($10.9b) increase in budget in 2016, but only received a 4.9% increase ($3.6b). They were short $7.3b. We’ll give them their request and help veterans obtain better benefits and get them faster. +$7.3b.
- The Chicago Police Department annual budget is $1.4b. The President says they need help and they have repeatedly requested help from the federal government, but have received no reply. Let’s double their budget and fix the problem immediately. +$1.4b.
- Current federal spending on 30 mental health centers at the National Institute of Health have a total budget around $31.3b, with $7.5b being spent on mental health services for the VA. Let’s double the mental health budget for our veterans. +$7.5b.
- The 2016 budget had $2.48b for Homeless Assistance Grants. A $4b budget would likely provide thousands of jobs and end chronic homelessness in America. Let’s give them $5b and include guaranteed free housing for all our veterans. +$2.52b.
- The Department of Energy requested a $2.7b budget towards implementing renewable energy sources and creating energy efficiency programs 2016. We’ll triple it and be on track to be energy independent as a country in ten years. +$5.4b.
- The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration had a total 2016 budget of $1.07b. Double it. +$1.07b.
- In 2009, the Task Committee of State Dam Officials estimated that it would take $16 billion over the next 12 years “to address the nation’s most critical dams—those whose failure would pose direct risks to human life.” We’re going to save lives at $1.33b per year. +$1.33b.
- The entire Department of Education has a $69.4b discretionary spending budget, an increase of $1.3b since last year. Make it a 10% increase, rather than a 1.8% increase, and finally pay our teachers what they are worth. +$6.94b.
- There are currently around 21.3m veterans who have served for our country. We’ll guarantee all veterans an equal share of $20b per year, so every vet will receive about $78/month, or $938/year. It isn’t much, but its maybe free internet and TV, or a couple new suits for job interviews, or half of a car payment, or whatever small token of appreciation we can give them. If a veteran earns more than $100k per year, their check may be (voluntarily) distributed to more needy veterans. Rather than paying the people who make the weapons, we’ll pay the people who use them. +$20b.
Boom. Under budget at $53.46b.
So, we have two options:
- Add a marginal amount to our already massive defense budget and (likely) give Trump’s friends a bunch of fat government contracts to build more things we already have and may not need.
- Or, we could fix the VA, double mental health benefits for veterans, save the city of Chicago from their own “carnage,” end homelessness in America, get closer to becoming energy independent, fight substance abuse, fix all our dams, improve the lives of our veterans, and save our education system.
You’d think a businessman would know how to stretch a dollar. No wonder he keeps going bankrupt.
Queue the awesome scene from the movie “Dave.”