That’s Debatable

By Will Moriarty | Webmaster

I ask myself a lot of questions when I look at the figures behind the United States’ spending. One question I have been asking myself a lot recently is, “Why does the government spend more on defense than on its space program?” It seems wrong that the government spends over $700 billion on violent programs, yet only around $10 billion on a program that spurs both economic and scientific growth and can instill hope into an entire generation.

The biggest problem with the massive defense budget is that it is supporting an oversized, overstretched military. The budget should be much smaller because the military should be much smaller. The United States has over 500 bases in countless different countries throughout the world, and we spend almost the same amount on our military as every other country combined. Just a few years ago, the country was manipulated into fighting two long and bloody wars at once, partially because the military was big enough to do so. I am not saying that the military needs to become extremely weak and ineffective; I am just pointing out the fact that there is something wrong when a country that has never fought an international war on its own soil is spending this much money on its military.

This money could be spent a lot more wisely on endeavors related to space. There are multiple programs tied to areas such as Mars exploration, stronger space telescopes and space-based energy that could strengthen the United States in ways the military never could. Congress is blatantly ignoring this as many members are currently trying to cut funding for a proposed shuttle program that would end our dependence on Russia to get to the International Space Station. They instead want to put money toward companies like Lockheed Martin, which is presently trying to develop more advanced militarized rockets. The world we live in is slowly falling apart, and instead of investing in the expansion of what we can access, we are making the little habitat we currently have more and more dangerous through violence and international conflict.

This trend illustrates something quite disturbing to me. It seems to say future technological advancements in space should not be a cooperative global effort but a militarized corporate endeavor. For America to be great, it cannot just be a country that invests in its own power; it must be a country invested in the betterment and progression of mankind as a whole.