Ponder this:

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Where does the money go...?

I got started on this train of thought the other day when I heard somebody on NPR say that the true cost of a gallon of gas for a military vehicle in Afghanistan was $300. 
The US Department of Defense 2011 Budget Request, Figure 6-1 "War Funding by Dollars by Function" shows budgeted War funding for 2010 at roughly 4,645,714 times my personal gross 2010 income. Without spending a lot of time digging around doing real research, I found a site that informed me that in 2008 there were approximately 216,885,346  other people paying taxes right along with me. Correction: They filed returns with the Internal Revenue Service. Who knows if they paid taxes, but let's assume they did. Whew! What a relief, because that means that the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost each of us an average of less than eight hundred dollars in 2010! ...especially because surely in 2010 there were more people paying taxes (or filing income tax returns) than there were in 2008. 
Quel bargain! ...although I'm not sure I trust my own calculations or their sources.


Rachel's Slow Lane Life sent me to a cute little geography quiz web page. Whatever the cost per taxpayer of War Funding by Dollars by Function, it seems to me that American taxpayers ought to be able to complete this little quiz quite handily. I mean, with all the "buy local" propaganda these days, you wouldn't hand over $700+ every year to somebody selling you Peru asparagus without knowing that it came from the continent of South America, would you? 
G'ahead. See how you do: Map Game

10 comments:

Linda Myers said...

Not very well on the map. I think I knew six and guessed at the rest. Embarrassing.

English Rider said...

Would it send you spinning to know that in these, anything but affluent, times there is a new art sculpture in the lobby of the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan that cost $30,000, plus shipping.
I love the art. I think the artist is talented. I even sold her the stone pedestal it's sitting on, but seriously? Who is evaluating where money should be spent?
(At least it is American art)

ladyhawthorne said...

I didn't do well either. I knew which ones were in a certain area for the most part but not always which country was which.

rachel said...

A great sister-post to the geography quiz, June! Thanks for the link. I found it interesting that some folk queried the need to know where those countries were - perhaps their minds might be concentrated a little more if they knew how much they paid into such countries, either in weaponry or aid......

Olga said...

I don't do numbers so I just "la'la'd" my way through that, but the map quiz was really interesting. I could get most everything in its general area but was shocked at how hard it was to pin down exact locations. I need to pay more attention.

Mac n' Janet said...

I did pretty well, only missed 4 or 5, but I use to live in Turkey and have always been a bit of a Geography freak.

Barb said...

I'd rather spend whatever the cost of war is on schools or food or public welfare (both in the US and abroad). But, I suppose that's too simplistic...

SmitoniusAndSonata said...

I didn't do too badly on the quiz , though I couldn't even see Bahrain , let alone pin a label on it .
As for where tax monies go ? Probably the same big black hole my salary disappears into long before the end of the month .

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi June, I am finding out more and more how much waste there is with ALL of our money which is over-seen by the US Govt.. It's not JUST defense spending... It's much much more than that..

It's almost as if nobody knows who is 'minding the store'... We have all of these departments in our govt.--and none of them speak to one another... They are all wasting WAY too much of OUR money. Most of them are offering the same type of programs in each area. Why don't they consolidate those common programs into ONE?? That would save us a TON of money.

We have to cut out the wasteful spending... Wonder if and when that will happen??? Who is IN CHARGE???? It's not just Democrats. It's been BOTH parties through the years.

Hugs,
Betsy

MerCyn said...

Map was great fun. I did not know the old Russian areas - I wonder if kids nowadays know all the ...stans! It was just one big country when I went to school.