America Cares About Buying Guns, Not Educating Kids

America is set to spend 20 percent of our federal budget on defense and a mere 3 percent on education.

In this year's State of the Union speech, President Obama called for a "Sputnik" movement in education, and asked our nation to do what's necessary "to give every child a chance to succeed" and compete with their international peers. Sadly, the latest federal spending bill includes more than $38 billion in cuts to K-12 and higher education programs. When you look at how much we're spending on defense, it's pretty clear: Our national priority isn't really education, it's buying guns and missiles.

Indeed, on Tuesday, our culture editor Cord wrote about Swedish-based think tank SIPRI's latest report, which details that since 2001, the United States' defense spending has increased 81 percent. And, we spend almost 43 percent of the money the entire world allocates to defense.

Critics of our nation's public schools point to China's stellar international test results as a sign that we're falling behind our Asian counterparts when it comes to academic achievement. Notice that we spend six times more money on defense than China and we only have roughly one-fourth the number of people.

According to 2010 figures from the Office of Management and Budget, we're set to spend 20 percent of our federal budget on defense and a mere 3 percent on education. As the chart below from nonpartisan think tank Project America shows, Federal spending on education has never topped 4 percent of the budget—and is on its way down again.

Literacy, technology, and scholarships are all being slashed this year. The number of Pell grants low income students can receive has been reduced from two to one, and essential AmeriCorps programs like Teach For America, the National Writing Project, and City Year have been defunded. Federal stimulus money to help cash-strapped state governments funnel money to schools has dried up. As a result, states hit by the economic downturn continue to cut billions from education.

But, as the SIPRI report points out, “even in the face of efforts to bring down the soaring US budget deficit, military spending continues to receive privileged treatment.” And, despite putting education on the chopping block, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) is passing legislation increasing defense spending.

So much for the argument that we're just throwing money at America's education challenges. We've never come close to trying that.

via Gage Skidmore / Flickr

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via Around the NFL / Twitter

After three years on the sidelines, Colin Kapernick will be working out for multiple NFL teams on Saturday, November 16 at the Atlanta Falcons facility.

The former 49er quarterback who inflamed the culture wars by peacefully protesting against social injustice during the national anthem made the announcement on Twitter Tuesday.

Kaepernick is scheduled for a 15-minute on-field workout and an interview that will be recorded and sent to all 32 teams. The Miami Dolphins, Dallas Cowboys, and Detroit Lions are expected to have representatives in attendance.

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"We like our quarterback situation right now," Miami head coach, Brian Flores said. "We're going to do our due diligence."

NFL Insider Steve Wyche believes that the workout is the NFL's response to multiple teams inquiring about the 32-year-old quarterback. A league-wide workout would help to mitigate any potential political backlash that any one team may face for making an overture to the controversial figure.

Kapernick is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) so any team could have reached out to him. But it's believed that the interested teams are considering him for next season.

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Earlier this year, Kaepernick and Carolina Panthers safety Eric Reid reached a financial settlement with the league in a joint collusion complaint. The players alleged that the league conspired to keep them out after they began kneeling during the national anthem in 2016.

Before the 2019 season, Kaepernick posted a video of himself working out on twitter to show he was in great physical condition and ready to play.

Kaepnick took the 49ers to the Super Bowl in 2012 and the NFC Championship game in 2013.

He has the 23rd-highest career passer rating in NFL history, the second-best interception rate, and the ninth-most rushing yards per game of any quarterback ever. In 2016, his career to a sharp dive and he won only of 11 games as a starter.


In the category of "claims to fame nobody wants," the United States can now add "exporter of white supremacist ideology" to its repertoire. Super.

Russell Travers, acting director of the National Counterterrorism Center, made this claim in a briefing at The Washington Institute in Washington, D.C. "For almost two decades, the United States has pointed abroad at countries who are exporters of extreme Islamist ideology," Travers said. "We are now being seen as the exporter of white supremacist ideology. That's a reality with which we are going to have to deal."

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