Monday, February 14, 2011

Why is Defense Spending So Untouchable?

Over the weekend I read some interesting statistics about the United States' defense spending:

  • Our defense spending is close to seven times higher than the next highest country's - China
  • Only the UAE spends more per capita on defense than we do.
  • We are responsible for between 40 and 50 percent of the entire world's defense spending. In other words, we spend almost as much on defense as the rest of the world combined.

And this does not even count what we spend on the Department of Homeland Security.

But we have to cut social programs instead?

The deficit for 2011 is projected to be over $1 trillion, so I agree that spending needs to be cut - deeply - but why should Defense be inviolate?  And how much of the expected deficit is due to two unwinnable wars in Iraq and Afghanistan?

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