Wednesday, June 16, 2010

military budgets continue to grow under Diplomat/Peace-monger Obama (even more than Reagan spent!)

From Veronique de Rugy in Reason...

Military expenditures are one of the reasons the U.S. government’s financial path is unsustainable. Setting aside expenditures related to the country’s ongoing wars, the fiscal year 2011 defense budget requested by President Barack Obama is $549 billion, 2.8 percent more than last year. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to cost $159 billion more. That comes to $708 billion, the biggest military budget that the United States has seen since World War II.

Defense will represent 19.6 percent of the federal government’s overall spending and 64 percent of discretionary spending. Even adjusted for inflation, according to Travis Sharp, a research associate at the Center for a New American Security, this level, $644 billion in 2000 dollars, is 13 percent higher than the Korean War peak ($624 billion), 33 percent higher than the Vietnam War peak ($534 billion), and 23 percent higher than the Reagan era peak ($574 billion).

And we might end up spending even more than that. In March the administration came back mid-year to ask for $33 billion more to support the troops in Afghanistan. Don’t be surprised to see another supplemental spending request in fiscal year 2011....

If liberals underestimate the political feasibility of Pentagon cuts, conservatives often overestimate the value of the spending....

The important question is not how much money we spend but whether we spend it effectively and meet our defense needs in the process. Demanding that military spending be driven by economic growth is just another way of saying that military spending is not about safety. It’s about spending as an end in itself.


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