Our Massive Defense Budget

Our Massive Defense Budget


Want to know why I look to the Pentagon first when asking “Where can we get some money?” It should be obvious from the graph above.

Their budget has almost doubled in the last 8 years. And that doesn’t even include the additional funds appropriated for the Iraq war, which would easily put the yearly defense budget closer to a cool trillion the past couple years.

So I ask again…why is the DoD’s budget a sacred cow? Why shouldn’t they be asked to either cut back significantly or tighten their belts so some of these funds can be used for more pressing needs like health care reform or green tech or education?

I’d even imagine you small government libertarians would be scratching your heads at this too.

Also, for as much crap Clinton got from the right wing for cutting the defense budget and closing bases, the DoD’s budget was actually higher in 2001 when Clinton left than it was in 1993 when he took office.

(h/t: Daily Dish)

  • The Snooze

    You mention that perhaps we should cut back on the DoD budget in order to divert a bit more funds to education. This article fails to mention, however, that the government, in particular the DoD, is a major source of funding for science and engineering research. The university research lab for whom I’m working right now derives a significant, if not majority, portion of its funds from DoD and defense company contracts. This money not only goes toward the purchase of equipment necessary for us to do our work but it also keeps grad students alive by paying for their tuition, stipend, and insurance. It even pays for opportunities for undergraduates to do some research gruntwork part-time during the academic year or full-time in the summer, a la an internship. Because we do not deal with classified or trade secret information, we are free to use our innovations on future projects and publish our designs and methodologies for others to use and expand upon in their endeavors.

    Yes, I certainly would like to see the NSF’s funding increased to support a wider variety of projects, but it would be wrong when discussing this issue to not say that the DoD does indeed help in education and research.

  • http://www.artformfunction.com Michael

    Especially when they regularly lose track of hundreds of billions of dollars.

  • owen

    @The Snooze-

    I understand that DOD spends tons of money on research, but isnt the main focus of research on warmaking? Couldnt we find a way to fund research that enriches human life instead of destroying it?

  • http://www.warning1938alert.ytmnd.com Jimmy the Dhimmi

    Couldnt we find a way to fund research that enriches human life instead of destroying it?

    Go to Waziristan, and Riyhad, and Moghadishu and tell that to the fanatic terrorist warmongers who want to wage perpetual war against us and our allies, and then we may be getting somewhere.

    Do you know what enriches the lives of liberty loving, human rights loving citizens of free nations? Killing insatiable, unassuageable Islamic terrorists. Thats what.

  • Scott Perry

    The Snooze is right. And Jimmy the Dhimmi is spot on. The government is responsible for very few things. One of them is national defense. Another is building roads and have a currnecy. After that we can get rid of every other thing the government does (of course there needs to be a way to raise taxes so that is something.)

    We spend more money on social programs than on the military. If you want to start cutting government spending get rid of social security and medicaid/medicare.

  • http://www.donklephant.com Justin Gardner

    @Scott – and replace them with what exactly?

  • JOe

    The government is responsible for currency? Excuse me? The “Federal Reserve” is privately owned, not audited, and has a fake name. The IRS collects worker “taxes” to pay to the “Federal Reserve” as interest on the invented and perpetuated “national debt.” US has serious problem with ” currency” and the bankers fund the operations of the federal government and therefore literally rule the country. Due to the internet, this is the first generation to get this information and see how it works, why workers keep working more and more and going broke is because the “Federal Reserve” privately owned bankers take the wealth and earnings from the country and also they issue loan currency at low interest rate to their corporate friends which is why small business and independent business is evaporating and everywhere is this impersonal corporate mess, and yes all of that then goes through the stock market, which is another money sifting scam in case you haven’t noticed. The saying is that you will not find the “Federal Reserve” in the government telephone book, you will find it in the business pages next to “Federal Express.”

  • nikolai

    Yes, the Federal Reserve is about as federal as Fed-X.

    It would be a very good step for the U.S. gov’t (a good place for Obama to begin) to take back the printing of it’s own currency from the “fed”, so as to quit paying (for example) $100 million + interest for a cost of $80,000 to the fed for printing up this $100 million worth of currency.

    The fed is given free rein and no accountability for printing up the currency, in exchange for “funding” congress. The “fed” name itself is a misnomer; it should properly be called something like;

    “Cabal of rich, private bankers systematically siphoning off the U.S. taxpayer’s life’s blood through outrageous practices and interest rates signed into law by the corrupt politicians in their pockets organization.”

  • Gregory Perrone

    Owen, the majority of the DODs research funding goes to developing systems that keep OUR soldier/sailors out of harms way. Force multipliers. One could argue that we spend the majority of our funds on the prevention of war!