This is the second in a series of proposals I'd like to hear from presidential candidates.
Today, George W. sent Congress his latest budget proposal, nearly $3 trillion for federal spending.
One subset of his budget is the defense spending - a tidy $717 billion. According to The World Bank listing of 183 counties, ranked by GDP, http://siteresources.worldbank.org/DATASTATISTICS/Resources/GDP.pdf
a country with a GDP of $717 billion would have ranked 15th globally - just between Russia and Australia. $717 billion is twice the size of Sweden or Saudi Arabia's entire GDP! Put another way, it is nearly 3X the total GDP of the Axis of Evil combined. (That's Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. We could lease those countries for one third of what it takes to defend ourselves from them.)
So, with that bit of rant behind me, let me propose this. When Americans file their taxes each year, they indicate where they would like to see their money spent. What percentage to housing, to basic research, to health insurance, to defense, to education, etc.? We have the technology to make this feasible. At a minimum, it could be the starting point for DC's plans about how to spend our money.