U.S. Defense Budget Going Forward

The current political discourse brings up defense budgets.

Under the terms of the Budget Control Act (BCA) of 2011, the Obama administration has agreed to a reduction of the planned expenditure of the Pentagon by $487 billion over the next decade. This will be painful, but the huge rises in spending during the Bush years now force drastic belt-tightening. The military, in general, regards these actions as justifiable and defensible.

Romney, however, wants to not only reverse the cuts but put a floor of 4% of the gross domestic product (GDP) under the base budget of the Pentagon. So, unlike with all other programs, defense spending goes up automatically if the economy improves and the Pentagon gets its 4%.

How about trying that with schools?

Depending on which analysts I listen to, this amounts to a $2.0 to $2.3 trillion of additional money spent. I might want to point out that the last time the defense budget was 4% of GDP was in 1992, just at the end of the Cold War. Even during George W. Bush, the defense budget went from 2.9% of GDP to 3.7% of GDP.

Romney is not telling us what the additional money is going to. He is also not telling us where it’s coming from.

Spoiler alert: It’s not coming from the wealthy!

How can any sane person believe that such intense and aggressive additional military spending can bring about any good at all?

It will create additional government bureaucracy and lots of industry sucking away that money. There’ll be $600 toilet seats again in the military. The only people I can think of that will want this are military contractors. It’s good for Halliburton, Boeing, Northrup Grumman, and thousands of thousands of others who make military equipment or serve those industries.

Maybe it’s time to go into a different line of business?

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