If those who are upset about runaway government spending were serious, they would look at defense spending, which has increased in nominal terms by 75% percent. Consider what even a small level of war department waste would buy for us:
With a price tag now approaching $330 million per plane and a total program cost of well over $65 billion, the C-17, produced by weapons-maker Boeing, has miraculously evaded every attempt to squash it. In fact, Congress even included $2.5 billion in the 2010 budget for ten C-17s that the Pentagon hadn’t requested.
Keep in mind that $2.5 billion is a lot of money, especially when cuts to domestic spending are threatened. It could, for instance, provide an estimated 141,681 children and adults with health care for one year and pay the salaries of 6,138 public safety officers, 4,649 music and art teachers, and 4,568 elementary school teachers for that same year. Having done that, it could still fund 22,610 scholarships for university students, provide 46,130 students the maximum Pell Grant of $5,550 for the college of their choice, allow for the building of 1,877 affordable housing units, and provide 382,879 homes with renewable electricity — again for that same year — and enough money would be left over to carve out 29,630 free Head Start places for kids. That’s for ten giant transport planes that the military isn’t even asking for.
I know this makes me a Dirty Fucking Hippie, but that’s a lot of jobs. It would also help students stay out of debt (or at least, lower the debt they accrue). And housing is good too! Admittedly, these benefits would not concentrated in key electoral college states, but, still, it’s a lot of jobs.