Nuking our future: American debt

Daniel Perret-Goluboff

One does not have to be incredibly politically informed to understand that our country is in a great amount of debt. Listing the actual astronomical figure of the deficit lends itself to confusion and misinterpretation.

That said, allow me to cite a different statistic — one that may seem far more real to the average individual: If the United States’ deficit was split evenly amongst all of our citizens, the amount each of us would have to pay would be roughly $48,130. This number is, for all intents and purposes, continually growing with each passing day.

Obviously, this is a problem. If we intend to pull ourselves out of this abysmal debt, we need to recognize that this problem is only getting worse. There are several schools of thought pertaining to the potential resolution of this issue, none of which I can swear much allegiance to.

At the risk of sounding like another hyper-liberal hell-bent on criticizing the system without offering a solution, the following shall summarize what I see as one of the single largest causes of this problem. Our nation’s money is simply not best spent on weaponry.

I recognize that a utopian vision of a future in which the call for national weaponry would be unwarranted is simply that: a vision — and a diluted one at that. Nonetheless, you cannot ignore that our government continues to pour dollar after dollar of our very finite future into over-arming America.

The United States still has roughly 2,500 nuclear weapons deployed and almost an additional 2,600 lying around as insurance. This argument could be labeled as moderately cliché, but the Cold War has been over for more than 20 years.

I can’t imagine that our nation really needs this vast a nuclear arsenal. The upkeep and production of these weapons could cost our citizens over $600 billion in the next decade. Can we really afford to be spending $60 billion a year on weapons that really only have the potential to make this situation worse?

This is money that we could be spending on providing better education to those who go without. This money could be used to reform health insurance in America.

This money could be used to provide more reliable options for the constantly increasing numbers of American citizens facing unemployment. In short, this is money that we could be using to rebuild American infrastructure.

We won’t use this money for those purposes, however, because we’re Americans, and we’ve created a culture in which people count nukes at night until they fall asleep. If you aren’t alarmed yet, you should be.

The concept of nuclear war becoming an increasingly real possibility is a very frightening thing. The preparation for nuclear war replacing the future of the American people as one of our primary investments is downright terrifying.

It’s not too late to turn this problem around if we’re willing to rearrange our priorities. The question remains: Are we willing to invest more in the well-being of our nation than the potential destruction of another?