The U.S Budget: What Do We Do? – Anavi Jain

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

It’s almost that time of year. The feeling of summer slipping away from our hands as schools start to open, the unwarranted heat strokes overtaking a fun time at the park, and the U.S budget being passed, just a mere 4 months after it’s supposed to be. April 15. That’s the day Congress was supposed to approve the budget for a fiscal year proposed by the President, and yet the passage of the budget never even came close to April. I wish my deadlines were that flexible.

The U.S. Budget is one of the most important decisions made every year by the President and Congress. It dictates how all federal funds should be allocated in the span of one year. It sounds like a lot of money and a lot of responsibility, but there are caveats to it. First, the president really only proposes one proportion of the budget called discretionary spending; the bulk of the budget, a whopping 60%, is mandatory spending. Mandatory spending consists of Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and Interest. The rest is up for grabs, and how that discretionary money is used has a huge impact on the direction of the U.S for that year.

Historically, the largest portion of discretionary spending every year is defense spending, at 57 percent, leaving a mere 43 percent for, well, just about everything else. Defense spending is important because without defense, we abstain from feeling safe in our country; however, the amount we spend on defense every year is absurd in comparison to the rest of the world. The US is number one in defense spending in the world, spending more than the next 10 countries combined, most of which are our allies. We could still have the most expensive military in the world, even if we cut our spending in half and invested that money elsewhere in society.

If we truly want America to be great, we have to be great in more facets than one. Investing extra money into education, housing, and aid would have a massive beneficial effect on our country. Putting money into education would lead to a more educated youth and a stronger mindset for solving problems that may arise in the future. Furthermore, if our education is more desirable to other countries, we will see an increase in Visas for education, which puts money into our economy. Housing and aid are required to make living bearable for the underprivileged in America, who in turn could receive the opportunities to make a change in the world when they’re older. America needs to live up to its foundation of equal opportunity and reallocating half the defense budget to areas like these would be a huge step in the right direction.

How do we achieve this? Great question. As mentioned previously, the president proposes the budget for the fiscal year. If a change is to be made in the budget, a candidate who supports this policy must be voted in. It’s as simple as that. Vote for candidates who will accomplish what you want to see in America. And if you can’t vote, help by supporting their campaigns. Volunteering is a great way to get involved. The fight doesn’t stop there though.

Make sure the people who approve the budget are on your side too. These are your senators and representatives. Get involved and watch the change you spark. Reduce defense spending.

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