Saturday, December 3, 2011

"Why does a library cost more than a bomber?"

Remember the classic bumper sticker:

Wouldn't it be great if schools had money
and the Pentagon had to hold bake sales?

The title of this blog post is a somewhat fanciful paraphrase of the following chart, created originally by the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) and republished by the blog Shakesville and the New York Times Economix column.

Why Does a Salad Cost More Than a Big Mac, by PCMR

The gist of that 2007 PCRM story was that
The Farm Bill...governs what children are fed in schools and what food assistance programs can distribute to recipients.

The bill provides billions of dollars in huge agribusinesses producing feed crops, such as corn and soy, which are then fed to animals. By funding these crops, the government supports the production of meat and dairy products—the same products that contribute to our growing rates of obesity and chronic disease.

Fruit and vegetable farmers, on the other hand, receive less than 1 percent of government subsidies.
I don't have the software to create a similar pyramid for Defense vs. Education, but how about this chart, Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go?, from the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities?

Policy Basics: Where Do Our Federal Tax Dollars Go?, by CBPP

Three percent!!!

I've never understood why education is not a top national security priority.

Oh, well....

See also the National Priorities Project: Bringing the Federal Budget Home.

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