The 5 Things We Could Spend $20 Million on Instead of a Military Parade

Over the past few weeks, several news outlets have covered the story that Donald Trump wants to have a military parade, supposedly as an effort to showcase how great our military truly is. Trump first came up with this idea back on January 18th and many historians have stated that this is not a new idea, but it is different from the military parades of the past. USA Today made a list of past military parades, all of which occurred after the US had won some type of battle or the country had celebrated the victory such as the post World War II and post Gulf War parades. This celebration would be different in the fact that the country would not be celebrating any major victory, but instead showing off the country's forces.



The most recent parade, which was held in 1991, celebrated the end of the Gulf War and cost approximately $21 million dollars in today’s money. Many, including current military personnel, have already spoken out that this parade would be a vast waste of money and resources and instead the funds should be allocated in a different way. Here’s a list of 5 ways that we could use $20 million dollars instead of a parade.

1. Add it to the Military's Defense Budget

If the plan is to show off how great our military is, shouldn't we just give this money to them directly so that they can showcase their strength in war time? Considering that the defense budget is in the billions, this wouldn't be a large sum of money to give to the military but it would allow for additional research and development twhich may help with long-term military growth.

2. Provide Medical Resources to Veterans

As of 2015 the US government allocated $61 billion annually towards healthcare for veterans. There are currently 21.8 million veterans within the United States. This means that each veteran gets approximately $2,800 if the money were to be divided evenly. This does not include any additional Medicare or Medicaid that some veterans qualify for. As of 2016, the average medical expense for a US citizen annually was over $10,000. This means that veterans can be left with a medical deficit of up to $7,000 annually. Though $20 million dollars wouldn't’t fix this problem for the countries veterans it would certainly be a step in the right direction.


3. Provide Housing to Homeless Veterans

Getting the nearly 40,000 homeless veterans in the US into homes is slightly more complicated than just providing $20 million dollars to this cause but it is a start. This money could build over 30 affordable housing complexes for homeless vets. Though this would mean that only a few hundred vets would actually be taken off of the streets, that's a few hundred less than their is right now. In order to help homeless veterans acquire housing we have to start building it and this money could help the US make that start.

4. Replenish the Funds Lost by Dismantling DACA

Though this $20 million dollars would barely put a dent in the $460.3 billion to be lost over the next 10 years by deporting DACA recipients it's a start, right? The US economy is going to take a major hit by removing DACA recipients from the country, including the costs of deportation and lost taxes that DACA recipients pay so it’s probably best to save this money while the country can.



5. Add it to the Education Budget

With the newest spending bill for 2018 $70 billion dollars was allocated to the education budget. When you break this down the $20 million is desperately needed in this area. Currently, the federal allocation is split up among a number of different programs such as the Pell Grant program, special education programming, head start, and more. Each program receives billions of dollars in funding but there are millions of people participating in the various programs bringing the average per person allocation down to a few thousand per person. Even $20 million added to the overall education budget could positively impact a few of these programs with a few extra dollars per person.



None of these options are perfect ways to spend the $20 million that Trump would like to spend on a parade but all of them are more beneficial to the overall society than a parade. Yes, we have an amazing military and though the US has its flaws, it is a good country and we should allocate that money towards things that would make us a great country. And if anyone is still interested in seeing a parade that honors the US military there’s one every Fourth of July in Bristol, RI.


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Disclaimer: All opinions are those of the writer