Quote-worthy Wednesdays: Budgets

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?

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