22 February 2011


Social Security has a vast cash flow, both intake and outflow, of around $700 billion per year. For this reason, since S.S. pays for itself in taxes (this year might be the first negative outflow; still, S.S. has $2.5 trillion in reserves), it seems logical to me to take it out of the mix for cutting the federal budget. (I do not mean it does not need some adjustment--it does; but, the required adjustments will be relatively minor.)

According to this calculation (<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Military_budget_of_the_United_States>), the 2010 U.S. military budget is $1.01-1.35 trillion. This is far above the combined expenditures of Medicare and Medicaid, at $743 billion.

In my view, much of the "defense" budget is misspent on the military and adds little to our national "security." A broader, more rational view of security must include the health of the nation's infrastructure, education, personal health (both physical and mental), and the environment, and research for life improvement. As I see it, funds spent on clean energy and these other areas is wealth invested in our national security.

When the energy crunch hits hard, the national psyche will weep for the trillions that could have been invested in the future well-being of the nation. There will be lamentations over the (budgetary) memory of the prodigal soldier-son, who, in the scenario I'm imagining, will have only an impoverished home to return to.

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