The Common Good

What Would You Do With $1 Trillion?

1100216-trilliondollarsThe United States has already spent $3 trillion on the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. With no end in sight for Afghanistan, and ongoing operations in Iraq, this number will only increase, hurtling its way to becoming the most expensive war in the history of the United States (chasing WWII, which was almost $5 trillion with inflation).

Related Reading

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

What would you do with $1 trillion?

The National Priorities Project and the American Friends Service Committee asked youth around the country to answer this question by making a three-minute film in their own community. You can view the winning videos of the contest at the AFSC website. I encourage you to listen to their stories. Each video answers the question from a unique perspective, incorporating each students own interpretation. Whether using pure journalism or spoken word, each story highlights a generation which is keenly aware of how our money could be better spent.

In my activist experience I have watched dozens of videos, read articles, and stared at countless photographs. I scour through fact sheets, charts, arguments, and briefs. I have listened to arguments on both sides of aisle, but nothing was as affecting as these three-minute videos of young men and women grappling with the inequities of war and challenging themselves to understand how Congress keeps inflating our defense budget.

If you live in the Washington, D.C. area I would encourage you to attend one of three opportunities to hear from the youth behind these three-minute shorts on Wednesday, February 16. The winning videos will be presented and you can hear from the filmmakers from the Sadie Nash Leadership Project in Brooklyn, New York, and AmplifyMedia in Boston, Massachusetts.

As we've recently seen in Egypt, the youth of a nation are often the rhythm which propels a movement. Maybe Congress should start listening to the young men and women in these films as they spend the next couple of weeks discussing the upcoming federal budget proposal.

Below is one of the winning films:

Hannah Lythe is a policy and outreach associate at Sojourners.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories

Resources

Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)