The entire US budget last year was about $1.11 trillion. The massive military budget makes up 54% of that. That's 9 times as much as the education and medicare budgets and 18 times the science budget! The chart below shows how absurd the disparity really is:
When looking at such ridiculously high figures, one might think about how that money could be better used. One alternative would be to use that money to help end poverty.
Poverty in the U.S. is so bad that eliminating it seems impossible. 46.5 million people were living below the poverty in a recent census. However, the reality is, the amount of money t would take to eradicate poverty is much lower than people realize.
"In 2012, the number was $175.3 billion. That is how many dollars it would take to bring every person in the United States up to the poverty line. In 2012, that number was just 1.08 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product (GDP), which is to say the overall size of the economy," reports Prospect.
The takeaway should be that if we just cut our military budget in half, we would be able to bring the entire country well out of poverty. Budgetary and wage disparities are crumbling this country and the wealthy often try to make these issues out to be much more complicated than they often are. A fraction of the military budget could be enough to set up programs and raise wages to the point of real economic equality, but clearly that is not where priorities lie.