As the national debt continues to climb past $14 trillion, the importance of subjecting all government programs — including, or even especially, military spending — to the budgetary knife seems increasingly obvious. However, if that figure alone isn’t persuasive, here’s an excerpt from an interesting article on our security budget:
The bloated and sacrosanct security budget – the military, domestic security and intelligence budgets –all saw rapid growth under President Bush when the DoD doubled its budget. Under President Obama the trend has continued with record military, intelligence and domestic security budgets….
President Obama has proposed the largest DoD budget since World War II, $553 billion (not including war funding and nuclear weapons funding in the Department of Energy). Much attention has been shined on Secretary of Defense Gates’ proposal to “cut” $78 billion in the Pentagon budget. Those “cuts” take place over five years with reductions taking place after the 2012 election in 2014 and 2015. And, the “cuts” do not include the cost of wars. The Afghanistan war alone could eat up projected “savings” and if the CIA’s war in Pakistan escalates that will be an even bigger budget item. Further, we have not seen what the continuing U.S. military footprint in Iraq will cost. These projected cuts are more image than reality….
To get a sense of the absurdity of protecting all military spending, the federal government spends $500 million each year for military marching bands. In comparison it spends $430 million a year on public broadcasting.