“In terms of real resources, the 4.6% of GDP devoted to the military last year was equivalent to 68% of the 1940 GDP. “
An astounding revelation from the Cato Institute’s Doug Bandow. In an article appearing overseas in Japan Times, Doug unfurls a torrent of shocking details underpinning a military complex run amok. Mr. Bandow reveals that (1) the Pentagon budget is the price of America’s foreign policy; (2) the U.S. mostly subsidizes the defense of its prosperous allies from anyone to everyone; (3) a smaller international presence would reduce the size of the target on Americans’ backs; (4) nation building reflects the triumph of hope over experience; (5) the sequester is but a scalpel when a meat-ax is required.
In any case, Washington no longer can afford to play the role of global cop. America’s $16.8 trillion national debt is just the start; unfunded liabilities run Uncle Sam’s total tab to more than $220 trillion.
Military outlays account for a smaller percentage of the GDP than during World War II and the Cold War, but America’s current GDP is 15 times as large as in 1940 and more than 11 times as large as in 1950. Thus, in terms of real resources the 4.6 percent of GDP devoted to the military last year was equivalent to 68 percent of the 1940 GDP.
Entitlement outlays will grow more quickly than military expenditures in coming years, but the fact that government devotes too much to Social Security is no argument for spending too much on the military. The U.S. cannot afford any budget sacred cows.