Rework budget priorities to help America's economy

  • Photo
Roarke Rule, guest columnist

The government has a tight budget, I can see that, and every penny they get is spent somehow, but simply taking from some money from departments that don’t need all of it and redistributing it to funds that do would help improve America’s economy exponentially.

According to National Priorities, a national non-profit, non-partisan taxpayer organization, in the 2015 fiscal year the federal budget was $3.8 trillion, which is divided into three categories: mandatory spending, discretionary spending, and interest on debt. Discretionary spending is $1.11 trillion of the budget, $2.45 trillion is mandatory spending, and the rest goes to paying off the national debt.

Discretionary spending essentially is optional spending, including funding for science, international affairs, veterans’ benefits, Medicare and health, education, and government. Military spending takes up about 54 percent of the discretionary budget.

The Mandatory budget includes spending in Medicare and health, food and agriculture, transportation, and Social Security, unemployment and labor (The last three combined make up the largest portion of the federal budget with about 33 percent toward them). Military, heath, and Social Security/Unemployment/Labor combined make up 76 percent of the budget!

That leaves important issues like education, science, and agriculture with hardly anything in comparison. there is an easy solution to this gross over payment, and we’ll start with the military.

In a fiscal year, 16 percent of the federal budget is spent on the military. I can’t help but feel like we don’t need to designate $600 billion to our military per year. According to “The 35 Most Powerful Militaries In The World” from Business Insider, the second largest military budget in the world, China’s is about $125 billion, which means that we could cut a fourth of our budget and still have the largest military.

I understand that China isn’t sending troops to combat ISIS and help others, but the military uses $150 billion of that to pay soldiers. So we would only take off $150 billion in general expenses. Then we could, and SHOULD redistribute that 150 billion into things that need more money. Even if you only took $100 billion, that would still do good to other departments.

Next we have Health and Healthcare, which uses about 27 percent of the budget. Honestly, that’s fairly close to ideal in my book, shaving off about 2 percent could even it out to 25 percent and that would leave $76 billion to put specifically into education, doubling their budget to about $146 billion. Children are the future, so we need to do the best we can to ensure that they leave school smart enough to handle the world, challenge the world, and change the world.

If you’re going to do anything at all, after all, it is for the betterment of the people of the United States of America.

• Roarke Rule, 14, loves fine arts, from paint to words.

Give us feedback

Have you found an error or omission in our reporting? Tell us here.
Do you have a story idea we should look into? Tell us here.