Wed Nov 14, 2012, 08:14 PM
amborin (16,631 posts)
U.S. Defense (Military) Spending
"....In fact, with projected cuts added in, the national security budget in fiscal 2013 will be nearly $1 trillion—a staggering enough sum that it’s worth taking a walk through the maze of the national security budget to see just where that money’s lodged.
If you’ve heard a number for how much the United States spends on the military, it’s probably in the neighborhood of $530 billion. That’s the Pentagon’s base budget for fiscal 2013, and represents a 2.5 percent cut from 2012. But that $530 billion is merely the beginning of what the United States spends on national security. Let’s dig a little deeper.
The Pentagon’s base budget doesn’t include war funding, which in recent years has been well over $100 billion. With US troops withdrawn from Iraq and troop levels falling in Afghanistan, you might think that war funding would be plummeting as well. In fact, it will drop to a mere $88 billion in fiscal 2013. By way of comparison, the federal government will spend around $64 billion on education that same year.....
....The US military maintains an arsenal of nuclear weapons. You might assume that we’ve already accounted for nukes in the Pentagon’s $530 billion base budget. But you’d be wrong. Funding for nuclear weapons falls under the Department of Energy (DOE), so it’s a number you rarely hear. In fiscal 2013, we’ll be spending $11.5 billion on weapons and related programs at the DOE. And disposal of nuclear waste is expensive, so add another $6.4 billion for weapons cleanup.
Now, we’re at $636 billion and counting.
How about homeland security? We’ve got to figure that in, too. There’s the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which will run taxpayers $35.5 billion for its national security activities in fiscal 2013. But there’s funding for homeland security squirreled away in just about every other federal agency as well. Think, for example, about programs to secure the food supply, funded through the US Department of Agriculture. So add another $13.5 billion for homeland security at federal agencies other than DHS.
That brings our total to $685 billion.
Then there’s the international affairs budget, another obscure corner of the federal budget that just happens to be jammed with national security funds. For fiscal 2013, $8 billion in additional war funding for Iraq and Afghanistan is hidden away there. There’s also $14 billion for what’s called “international security assistance”—that’s part of the weapons and training Washington offers foreign militaries around the world. Plus there’s $2 billion for “peacekeeping operations,” money US taxpayers send overseas to help fund military operations handled by international organizations and our allies.....
....That brings our grand total to an astonishing $931 billion.
And this will turn out to be a conservative figure. We won’t spend less than that, but among other things, it doesn’t include the interest we’re paying on money we borrowed to fund past military operations; nor does it include portions of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration that are dedicated to national security....."
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