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Petition to lower the military budget and give more funding to higher education.

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The average out-of-state higher education tuition is $22,000, so college tuition is not affordable for a lot of families in America. But most of the good jobs in this country require a higher education. How is the next generation supposed to become educated and join the workforce? We petition the US government to re-evaluate the military spending budget to fund higher education.

Some numbers for background information:

In 2009, when the budget was $515.4 billion, Barney Frank suggested a 25% cut of the military budget . According to Barney Frank, who was chairman of the House Financial Services Committee from 2007 to 2011, the US “would still be immeasurably stronger than any combination of nations with whom we might be engaged”. In 2012, the military budget was $645 billion, which was 37% of the whole financial year budget. The 2012 U.S. military budget was approximately 39% of global arms spending. In the same year, the budget of China was $143 billion, and the budget of Russia was $71 billion.

The US military budget is $526.6 billion for FY 2014, which is 43.6% of the whole financial year budget.

Some specific suggestions for cutting military spending :

1.The government spends a lot of money on GBU-31’s, a kind of weapon that is a Joint Direct Attack Munition (JDAM) which has been made in the US since 1999. In other words, it has a 15-year history. The production cost of this weaponis about $21,000 for each set. The plan of the government is to keep 240,000 sets in stock which means a $5.04 million stock in warehouse. It is currently in full-rate production. It should be phased out because in fact, there are many more kinds of weapons that have appeared which are better than this, such as laser guided weapons. So the government can reduce the use of GBU-31 or decrease production.

2. There are 98,000 conventional reservists of USMC (United States Marine Corps) in the US. And among these people, 40,000 need more training and have less experience. For these people, the government spends above $160 million every year. So the government could reduce the training of Selected Marine Corps Reserve to save money and put the money in higher education aid.

3.The Joint Strike Fighter F-35 program costs from $182 million to $299 million per plane. The whole program cost $400-billion, the most expensive ever. Analyst James Joyner’s report shows that although a joint approach has the potential to lower costs by pooling RDT&E resources and increasing production runs, “joint aircraft programs have not saved overall LCC compared with single-service aircraft programs.” This joint program caused a huge loss, we can’t make this kind of mistakes again and again.

4. Since 1984, there have been above 250 official satellites that have been shot to sky. Typically, each single satellite needs more than $500 million from production to launching, including production cost, rocket production cost, expense of launching and maintenance. Also, there are some satellites that fail which are definitely wasting resources. Through the research, we learned that America launched 12 satellites in the last 2 years for communication purposes. 3 of them are in military use. That is too much because the commercial satellites can assume dual-use function. The federal government could decrease the number of communication satellites next year.

5. Focus more on defending U.S. rather than “invest” too much money to be the world “police”. For example, we joined the war between Afghanistan and Iraq. America spent $200 billion per year at their peak into this war. According to Barney Frank’s report : “over past ten-year period, we can reduce the base budget by approximately $1 trillion while maintaining more than enough military strength to fully protect our security and those of our allies that genuinely need help because they are too poor and weak in the face of powerful enemies.” If we reduce the number of wars we join, we can save a lot of money to reduce college tuition.

Our goal is to reach 10,000 signatures within 30 days, then the government will reply to us and the government may make some changes and put more funding toward college tuition. If you agree with our petition, please sign it and share it with others. Thank you.


Students from The Putney School, VT

Shutong Liu

Fanpu Liu


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