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Infrastructure spending bill less than military spending

Congress is currently considering two infrastructure spending bills totaling $4.5 trillion. The money will be spent over a 10-year period on roads and bridges, railroads, the power grid, internet access, water infrastructure, cyber security, climate change, public transportation, airports, affordable housing, clean energy, health care, education, child care, wildfire prevention, much more. That amounts to $450 billion per year.

By comparison, over the past 10 years we’ve spent $6.3 trillion on defense, or an average of $630 billion per year. The 2021 defense budget is $753 billion. That goes toward the cost of military operations, equipment maintenance, pay, retirement and health care for military personnel, weapons and equipment, and construction and management of military facilities.

The United States spends more on national defense than China, India, Russia, United Kingdom, Saudi Arabia, Germany, France, Japan, South Korea, Italy and Australia – combined.

It is proposed that infrastructure bills will be fully paid for by tax hikes on corporations and the wealthy as well as through various fund reallocation strategies for already approved, but unspent, stimulus dollars.

Defense spending comes from the discretionary federal budget, which is funded primarily through income taxes and borrowing.

Granted, it’s not an “either/or” situation, but in the long run, which do you think provides a better return on our investment?

Greg Phillips

Durango