We are “wasting” $500 billion in your hard-earned taxes nowadays for something that doesn’t do anything to improve productivity, create permanent jobs, solve global warming or destroy the terrorist network around the globe.
But it is impossible not to keep shelling out $½ Trillion per year for the foreseeable future to keep the US from really going under.
$500 billion is about the amount of gross interest we pay each year on the burgeoning national debt, now at $11 trillion and counting.
We have to keep paying it to keep our financial “integrity” for the bond/credit rating agencies so people will keep buying our bonds. But interest on the national debt is also a number we can eliminate totally if we put our minds to it and do something “truly crazy” like pay off the national debt.
It can be done and has been done many times in our history, most notably after the War of 1776, the War Between the States from 1861 to 1865 and after World War II. If we can do it after major conflagrations like those, we can do it today.
Let’s put that absolutely monstrous number into perspective: $500 billion this year is;
* More than what we pay in Medicare
* More than what we pay in Medicaid
* Slightly less than what we pay for National Defense
* Slightly less than what we pay in Social Security
* More than we pay in every other federal government discretionary spending
program added up in total!
Think about that for a moment over your Cheerios in the morning. More than the total amount of federal tax money we pay, good and bad, for global warming remediation, education, transportation, welfare, foreign aid and sending probes into space to see if there is any signs of intelligent life out there.
I guess we have to do that because when it comes to being fiscally responsible here in the United States, there are no signs of it here either.