The National Priorities Project Web site has a couple of pretty interesting features. The features allow one to consider the choices that the US government makes. It provides a good glimpse of spending on war (military) and peace (education, health care).
For example, if you’ve ever wondered on what the US government’s spending with the taxes it receives, you can learn about it from the NPP. The NPP has an interactive feature that allows one to enter a number and receive a graphic representation of the proportions of the amount going to military, social security, education, and etc. Here’s a link to the page. It’s just a percentage calculator, but it illustrates what I consider to be some badly misplaced priorities.
For another example, consider the consequences of spending decisions on one’s own neighborhood. Under the “Trade-Offs” link one can set some parameters and learn how many people’s health-care needs could be met, how many teachers could be hired, how many new schools could be obtained, etc. in your own congressional district were the funds currently used for ballistic missles, the Iraq war, or tax cuts redirected to other priorities. Here are the results of one set of choices I examined.
These interactice features of the NPP site reinforce my views about the mistaken emphasis that the goverment is placing on some activities of the US.