Send a Tweet
Most Popular Choices
Share on Facebook 3 Share on Twitter 1 Share on LinkedIn Share on Reddit Tell A Friend Printer Friendly Page Save As Favorite View Favorites
Exclusive to OpEdNews:
OpEdNews Op Eds

Of Missiles and Teachers

By   Follow Me on Twitter     Message Nicholas Johnson       (Page 1 of 1 pages)     Permalink    (# of views)   17 comments

Related Topic(s): ; ; ; ; ; ; , Add Tags
Add to My Group(s)

Must Read 3   Supported 3   Valuable 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com Headlined to H1 4/7/17

Author 506474
Become a Fan
  (1 fan)

From commons.wikimedia.org: USSNewJerseyTomahawkCruiseMiss ile {MID-71479}
USSNewJerseyTomahawkCruiseMiss ile
(Image by Wikipedia (commons.wikimedia.org))
  Permission   Details   DMCA
- Advertisement -

My father grew up on a Kansas cattle farm in the early 20th Century. Times were tough, and so were parents. He recalled sitting on the porch steps at a neighbor's farm house when that farmer's young, barefoot boy approached and asked for a nickel. The boy's father answered, "What did you do with the last nickel I gave you?"

It's much easier these days for America's military. Often it doesn't even need to ask. Elected officials sometimes send additional taxpayers' money its way for the weapons systems of major campaign donors, weapons the military would really rather not have, thank you.

As for "the last nickel I gave you," the General Accounting Office has often just thrown up its hands in frustration and announced that the military's financial records are in a condition that simply makes audits impossible.

- Advertisement -

So estimates vary, but most agree we are spending on our military more than the next seven nations combined -- much of which is used to make sure that we could win, should we ever have to fight World War II all over again. Unfortunately, there's little that the President Gerald Ford $8-to-13 billion aircraft carrier can do to defend us from cyber attacks or terrorists' random, homemade bombs.

Throw in the cost of caring for the wounded (Veterans Administration), and other costs throughout the federal budget, and the military's share of federal discretionary spending is well over the 54% just going to the Pentagon. (Estimates of the costs of our wars in Afghanistan and Iraq alone, among the most difficult to audit, range between one and five trillion dollars.)

It's hard enough for most of us to deal with things measured in the millions of dollars. We can't even imagine how we should evaluate costs in the billions and trillions of dollars.

- Advertisement -

So let's just focus on the cost of one operation, during one day (yesterday, April 7), involving missile strikes on one Syrian Airforce base.

It required 59 Tomahawk Cruise missiles. At $1.4 million per missile that's $82.6 million.

So how much is $82.6 million?

Think of it this way: Given the median income of Iowa's K-12 teachers, $82.6 million would be enough to pay the salaries of over 1700 additional teachers for one year -- roughly a 5% increase in the number of Iowa's 35,000 teachers.

That's something we can imagine.

Now multiply that by roughly 10,000 times and you'll have some notion of how much our military expenditures are denying us in healthcare, jobs programs, education, infrastructure improvements, and other pro-people social programs.

- Advertisement -

Think about what President Eisenhower's military-industrial complex did with the last nickel you gave it. Think about it -- and act.

[Note to commenters: This article is not intended to, and does not, address whether we should be involved in Syria, or what we should be doing there, nor does it argue that we do not need a military in these times.]

 

- Advertisement -

Must Read 3   Supported 3   Valuable 3  
View Ratings | Rate It

opednews.com

Nicholas Johnson is best known for his tumultuous seven-year term as a Federal Communications Commission commissioner (1966-1973), while publishing How to Talk Back to Your Television Set, 400 separate FCC opinions, and appearing on a Rolling (more...)
 

Share on Google Plus Submit to Twitter Add this Page to Facebook! Share on LinkedIn Pin It! Add this Page to Fark! Submit to Reddit Submit to Stumble Upon Share Author on Social Media   Go To Commenting

The views expressed herein are the sole responsibility of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of this website or its editors.

Writers Guidelines

Contact AuthorContact Author Contact EditorContact Editor Author PageView Authors' Articles

Most Popular Articles by this Author:     (View All Most Popular Articles by this Author)

Kushner's Back-Channel Multiple Tragedies

Our Revolution: Yes; But First Some Questions

Law, Social Norms and Trump

Hillary's New Emails: A Solution for FBI Director Comey

What's a Republican to Do?

NFL: Really 'Sports' or Just a TV Series?