Recent months have seen a flurry of headlines about cuts (often called ďthreatsĒ) to the U.S. defense budget. Last week, lawmakers in the House of Representatives even passed a bill that was meant to spare national security spending from future cuts by reducing school-lunch funding and other social programs.
Here, then, is a simple question that, for some curious reason, no one bothers to ask, no less answer: How much are we spending on national security these days? With major wars winding down, has Washington already cut such spending so close to the bone that further reductions would be perilous to our safety?
In fact, with projected cuts added in, the national security budget in fiscal 2013 will be nearly $1 trillion -- a staggering enough sum that itís worth taking a walk through the maze of the national security budget to see just where that moneyís lodged.
If youíve heard a number for how much the U.S. spends on the military, itís probably in the neighborhood of $530 billion. Thatís the Pentagonís base budget for fiscal 2013, and represents a 2.5% cut from 2012. But that $530 billion is merely the beginning of what the U.S. spends on national security. Letís dig a little deeper.