The title of the post is coming out of the mouths of many of our military people since the super committee, like the rest of congress, couldn’t seem to agree with each other on anything. That means across the board cuts in all discretionary spending including the military. Even the newly appointed DoD secretary Leon Panetta is spouting off. Many of the military backers in Congress are trying to find a way to get out of this dilemma. They say a 10% cut would put us back to pre-WWII levels. That is what they say but lets look at the facts.
In reality since the military expenditures in the U.S. have increased more than 10% in the last two years alone it will only put them back to 2008 levels or so. We spend so much more on our war machine than the rest of the world a 10% cut will do little to disrupt the disparity that currently exists. Here are some numbers from 1020 in that regard:
China has a population of about 1.3 billion people and spent approximately $77 billion on its military. That comes out to about $59/citizen/year.
India has a population of about 1.2 billion people and spent approximately $33 billion on its military. That comes out to about $27/citizen/year.
The U.S. has a population of about 0.35 billion people and spent approximately $690 billion on its military. That comes out to about $2,000/citizen/year.
I am not a big math whiz but it seems like when we combine China and India they have a population approaching 10 times our and spend less than one-sixth of us. A 10% cut in the U.S. military budget won’t put us into a “war machine” race with anyone. I really don’t think we should panic too much about that.
Would it really be so bad if we had to buy a few less $1 million smart bombs?
Would it be so bad if we put a few less of our kids in harm’s way?
Would it be better to take the money out of our jobs programs?
Would it be better to take the money out of helping those who can’t afford it with healthcare?
Given that we are currently #27 in the world list of educating our citizens would it be better to fire some additional teachers?
I agree our government spending is pretty out of control and needs to be reigned in. But to me taking it from the military budgets seems to make the most sense of absolutely any of the other possibilities. Can you imagine how prosperous we could be if we aligned with the rest of the world on our military budgets. We would be able to balance our budgets, provide healthcare for all and even have some left for fixing our crumbling infrastructure. Who appointed us policemen of the world anyway? Why do we seemingly carry that burden alone?
But what do I know….