America’s needs have been neglected while the military collects a check


The American people no longer see what was once a dream. Our nation is 241 years old and more than $19 trillion in debt. Yet, we allow our federal government to spend more money on our military than China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, the United Kingdom, India, France and Japan combined. In fact, we spend $596 billion on the military whilst the seven countries spend $567 billion combined on theirs, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation, a nonpartisan organization that focuses on America’s economic issues.


This is insane.

If our Congress can grant $596 billion in 2015 on our military, then it can properly spend that on our nation’s college education system, infrastructure, environment and programs like sustainable energy. There is no doubt our military is important, but so is investing in other important American needs.

American needs, such as affording the outrageous tuition cost and ending the debt that college students go into for a degree. Senator Bernie Sanders proposed a $75 billion a year plan fully paid for by imposing a tax on a fraction of a percent on Wall Street speculators, because he too understands the value of education and the burden it has on our college students who are trying to afford it.

The subpar quality of our nation’s infrastructure is too expensive to ignore. Our American roads, bridges, sewage system, dams, pipelines and interstate highways are deteriorating. Business Insider reported that American Society of Civil Engineers released a 2017 infrastructure report card, which graded the nation a D+, and to change that grade, it would cost about $4.5 trillion by 2025.


At what point, did we choose to neglect to see and do nothing to change the increasingly high cost of education and our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure? It is unacceptable to allow our neglected American needs to go unfunded and worsen. We cannot ignore this national crisis. We need to recognize it now and change it!

The Mississippi River is in a crisis and is one of our most polluted rivers in the U.S., yet people depend on this river for their livelihood and economy. The Mississippi River once had a thriving ecosystem, but today it is full of nitrates, arsenic, benzene and mercury. Imagine eating polluted Mississippi fish and the damage it would have on your body. Now imagine if our government spent money on the effort to clean our nation’s polluted rivers like the Mississippi River. The river could thrive again.

Again, if our government can spend $596 billion on our military then there is no reason that it cannot use those funds on tuition, infrastructure and the environment. Taking care of today’s problems will allow us to take care of tomorrow’s future.

Tomorrow’s future is bright if we invest in it. According to a 2012 study by the Union of Concerned Scientists, the U.S. can generate most of its electricity from renewable energy by 2050, and the Renewable Electricity Futures Study found that an 80 percent-renewables future is feasible with currently available technologies.


By 2050, we all could live in a healthier America, but we must demand all of our elected officials serving in our government get on the same page. Moreover, when the government spends money, who pays for it? The taxpayers. Oh, wait – that’s us. We’re footing the $596 billion tab to fund the military. Why aren’t we funding our other American needs?

If you’re not convinced that we should spend money on lowering tuition cost, improving our D+ infrastructure, cleaning North America’s longest river and a creating a future of renewable energy, then consider this: the U.S. has spent almost $5 trillion due to the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, according to militarytimes, a publication for military related news and content. Our taxes went to fund those wars. Now we need to fund our American needs here in the states, so we can all thrive.


In 33 years, the year will be 2050. We need to make the choice for what the U.S. will be like. After all, this is our home and our country. We the American people are no longer asleep to dream; we’re wide awake, and it is time we invest in the now to create a healthy, prosperous future.