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items tagged with military

The Best Defense (for the Welfare State) Is an Expensive Offense
Written By: Jeff Ignatius
Section: Commentary/Politics

Category: Guest Commentaries

2015-02-06 11:54:20

In late January, the U.S. military-industrial complex reported results for 2014’s fourth quarter and expectations for 2015. Good times! Northrop Grumman knocked down nearly $6 billion in Q4 2014 and expects 2015 sales of around $23.5 billion. Raytheon did about as well last fall and expects a big radar order from the Air Force this year. Meanwhile, the Pentagon announced a travel upgrade for the president of the United States – a new Air Force One. Base cost for the Boeing 747-8? $368 million, before presidential modifications.

Anyone who doesn’t live under a rock (or whose rock gets bombed periodically) knows that the U.S. government spends more on its military than any other nation-state. A useful way of understanding how much more: If the U.S. “defense” budget were cut by 90 percent, it would remain the first- or second-largest military spender in the world (depending on fluctuations in China’s military expenditures).

That 90 percent – and then some – is the single-largest welfare entitlement program in the U.S. government’s budget, even omitting “emergency supplementals” for the military misadventure of the week and military spending snuck into other budget lines.


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