Our one night of celebration could also end veteran homelessness
In June, Information minister Michael Makuei Lueth announced South Sudan will skip the state-sponsored celebrations for the country’s own independence day on July 9, “to spend the little that we have on other issues." Those issues include “soaring inflation,” corruption and the collapse of the country’s oil industry, Al Jazeera reports.
So what about the United States?
It’s unlikely the White House would drop the concert and fireworks from its traditional Fourth festivities for military families. But it’s intriguing to imagine what could happen if the people of the United States spent the estimated $675 million it shells out on fireworks each year a little differently.
With an extra $675 million in its pocket, the government would be able to pay for about half of the proposed $1.1 billion Zika spending plan to help combat the disease.
In 2016, more than two-thirds of college students will graduate with debt, TIME reports. The average debt at graduation will be about $35,000. If the U.S. used that $675 million dollars on students vs. fireworks we could pay off the debt of more than 19,000 grads.
With $675 million, the U.S. could easily cover the $500 million in critical repairs needed at Yosemite National Park.
All our extra fireworks cash could cover more than one-third of the government’s $1.56 billion budget allocation for assisting refugees resettling in America.
And with $675 million, the United States could double Obama’s $300 million budget set forth to help end and prevent homelessness for Veterans and their families through the Supportive Services for Veterans Families rapid re-housing and homelessness prevention program.
Sure, a stunning fireworks display is a family-friendly way to show our love of country, but perhaps we the people can re-think our patriotic spending.