Defense Spending Is Not the Problem

The approaching debt-reduction recommendations from the “Super Committee” seem unlikely to generate a bipartisan consensus. Under the law that created the committee, if Congress doesn’t trim at least $1.2 trillion from the next ten years’ worth of spending, the difference will be made up in massive across-the-board cuts. Certain budget areas — including entitlements — will be exempt from the cuts, but defense will not. The resulting cuts to the Pentagon budget could set back our national security, research capabilities, and industrial base for decades.

Is defense spending really the problem? Defense spending currently accounts for less than 20 cents of every dollar spent by the federal government. And budget experts warn that our current level of defense spending masks shortfalls — after the last decade of “hollow growth” and extended combat, our equipment stocks have only grown “smaller and older.”

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