Government budgets are moral documents that enshrine our deepest values.
-Rich Stearns, on the need for continued budgetary support for humanitarian aid, which accounts for about 1/2 of 1% of the U.S. national budget.
For Fiscal Year 2012, the U.S. budget includes:
- $553 billion for the Department of Defense
- $126.3 billion for Oversees Contingencies Operations (the wars come from this budget, not the Dept of Defense)
- $43.2 billion for Homeland Security
- $77.4 billion in the Department of Education
- $79.9 billion for Health and Human Services
- $61.85 billion for Veterans Affairs
- $9 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency
- $1.3 billion for the Corporation for National and Community Service, which includes AmeriCorp
- $240 billion in interest on the national debt
If I did my math right, the first three on the list account for 19.4% of the total budget. Again, 1/2 of 1% goes to humanitarian aid.
As Stearns commented further, he noted that yes, we need to address our budget issues as a country. But let’s not think that we can balance our budget by removing that 1/2 of 1%. And even if we could, why would we solve our financial issues at the expense of the poorest of the poor?