Cognitive Dissonance

"Democracy! Bah! When I hear that I reach for my feather boa!" - Allen Ginsberg

397 notes

On money for education versus money for war

Rebloggable by request:

did cutting pell grant funding REALLY save money? isn’t education like. the Very Best Investment?

 sosungalittleclodofclay

Meg at Cognitive Dissonance:

You’d think that. Let’s get a little perspective. From FY2001 to the end of FY2012, taxpayers spent $1.4 trillion on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. That’s $1,400,000,000,000. If you were to pile all those dollar bills and stick it on a scale, it would be about 1,543,235 tons. Or about 289 Chevy Silverado pickup trucks.

That’s pretty heavy.

You know what else is pretty heavy? Thinking about what we could have gotten for that money instead. Check it out:

  • 634.6 million Annual Energy Costs for a Household for One Year OR
  • 706.5 million Children Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
  • 20.3 million Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
  • 133.4 million Fair Market Rent for One Bedroom Apartment for One Year OR
  • 181.3 million Head Start Slots for Children for One Year OR
  • 594.5 million Households Converted to All Solar Energy for One Year OR
  • 1.2 billion Households Converted to All Wind Energy for One Year OR
  • 176.7 million Military Veterans Receiving VA Medical Care for One Year OR
  • 658.5 million One Year Worth of Groceries for an Individual OR
  • 283.5 million People Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
  • 19.8 million Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officers for One Year OR
  • 174.8 million Scholarships for University Students for One Year OR
  • 248.3 million Students receiving Pell Grants of $5550

You might say, “But that’s all the war spending! That’s not fair!” Here’s a few other comparisons. First, U.S. Defense spending for FY2012. That’s $544.3 billion. Here’s what we could get instead:

  • 279.0 million Children Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
  • 8.0 million Elementary School Teachers for One Year OR
  • 71.6 million Head Start Slots for Children for One Year OR
  • 234.8 million Households with Renewable Electricity - Solar Photovoltaic for One Year OR
  • 493.0 million Households with Renewable Electricity-Wind Power for One Year OR
  • 69.8 million Military Veterans Receiving VA Medical Care for One Year OR
  • 111.9 million People Receiving Low-Income Healthcare for One Year OR
  • 7.8 million Police or Sheriff’s Patrol Officers for One Year OR
  • 69.0 million Scholarships for University Students for One Year
  • OR 98.1 million Students receiving Pell Grants of $5550

Oh, but we need defense spending, right? Let’s examine weaponry. From 2001-2011, the U.S. fired over 11,000 Hellfire missiles in combat operations — keep in mind, this doesn’t count non-combat operations or testing. Each Hellfire costs roughly $68,000. That’s $748 million, or one year of full, $5,500 Pell Grants for 136,000 students.

Each F-16 Falcon Fighter costs $47 million. Or, 8,545 students could have Pell Grants of $5,550 for one year.

Each soldier in Afghanistan costs roughly $1.2 million per year. For that, we could give 218 students a full Pell Grant.

It’s not a question of cost. It’s a question of priorities. In FY2012, we spent $33.4 billion on Pell Grants — or six percent of the Department of Defense’s FY2012 budget.

But there’s always money for war, right? 

Cheers,

Meg

Filed under rebloggable by request politics education war Pell Grants cost federal budget priorities money

  1. theklr reblogged this from stfuconservatives and added:
    Yes. Yes to all of this. Worth the read.
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    let’s not forget that each soldier costs 1.2 million dollars to keep overseas, but their salary, for an average sergeant...
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    I like how the numbers frequently fly over 330 million, which is the estimated population of the US.
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    Blood = boiled.
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