17 October 2006

What if We the People Determined How Our Money Was Spent?

So, what are you spending to support our federal government? On average, you spend about (family of four amounts in parenthesis)

$78 ($313) a year on energy expenses, only a fraction of which subsidizes research
$25 ($101) a year on the environment - less than what many people spend in a week at Starbucks
$19 ($75) a year to support scientific research.
$49 ($195) a year on transportation
$1,370 ($5,480) a year on defense
$333 ($1,333) a year on Iraq and Afghanistan.

Think about this. We spend more on Iraq in a month than we spend on the environment in a year. We spend about as much on transportation as we do on a single tank of gas. If these really are our national priorities, I'm more out of touch with mainstream America than I thought.

I think that it's time to begin a national campaign, starting out in focus groups around the country to determine the national priorities and translate them into budget amounts. What if real Americans engaged in real conversations about what mattered and what they'd like to create with their combined clout of nearly $3 trillion, the $9,000 a year each of us spends on the federal government. What an amazing country we could create.

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