This year, the United States government is scheduled to spend more than $622 billion dollars on the military budget, which includes an additional $171 billion dollars for the occupation of Iraq. In comparison, the US will only spend $56 billion dollars this year on education and only $3.4 billion on energy development. At the current rate of spending it will take 183 years of alternative energy development to match one year of spending on the war in Iraq, and eleven years of funding education for our children will still not match even one year of spending on this war. We have seriously misplaced our priorities, and it driving us further into debt, an estimated $9.357 trillion dollars this year.
The US Senate has an opportunity to begin to turn the clock backwards this week, in the name of our children and the future of our country. Last week the House passed a bill which would create a timetable for withdrawing US troops from Iraq, limit the ability of the CIA to torture prisoners and increase domestic spending on budgetary priorities that need our attention here at home such as universal health care, which would cost an estimated $169 billion dollars to provide coverage to the remaining 47 million Americans who currently lack health care coverage. For an additional $58 billion dollars we could provide access to universal higher education for all students who want to go to college.
The Democrats are on a swing, and that is better than having the Republicans at bat, but the truth is that they are just more graceful at striking out. The Senate is considering legislation that would add an additional $168 billion dollars to the US federal debt to fund an additional year of bombers, tanks, military bases, cluster bombs, hummers, and blackhawk helicopters for the military in Iraq. What we need to do in the US Senate is stop funding for the war in Iraq right now. As a candidate for federal office I would make it my first priority to stop all military funding for the war in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Right now ever American in this country holds a liability of $30,777 which we owe to various banks, investment firms and foreign governments who have bought the promisory notes which our government has issued with the promise of payback at some future date. Over fifty percent of that debt is owed specifically on military spending for the war in Iraq, Afghanistan, the first war in Iraq, military expenditures in over 140 countries and even debt that is owed on the wars in Vietnam and Korea that have not yet been fully paid. Our debt load is enormous and it is the symbolic albatross around the neck of our children.
As long as we continue to vote for Democrats and Republicans who are bought and paid for by lobbyists, corporations and country clubs we will continue to get what they pay for which is more war, more military spending, higher gas prices and declining competitiveness in the global market place. I urge you to write to your Senator and tell them to vote no on more money for war and in November to vote for candidates who care more about education and health care than Halliburton and warfare. In Tennessee, the choice is clear. You can vote for the Republican, Senator Lamar Alexander who will spend another $168 billion dollars of your children's future, or you can vote for the Democrats, who have funded the war to the tune of some $700 billion dollars to date, or you can vote for peace by supporting candidates who will stop funding the war and bring the troops home now.