NPR has a story about how the U.S. military is spending $20.2 billion for air conditioning in Iraq and Afghanistan.

If we are going to have troops in that climate, providing air conditioning is absolutely the right thing to do. But that figure should make us all wonder about our national priorities.

After all, as Alternet's Joshua Holland noted on Twitter this afternoon using data from the National Priorities Project, $20.2 billion could also:

  • help 9.9 million children get health insurance
  • give 2.4 million university scholarships
  • hire 295,267 elementary school teachers
  • create 2.5 million Head Start slots
  • provide wind energy to 11.6 million homes
  • hire 337,522 firefighters

So, what does this say about our national priorities?

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