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What are we afraid of?

According to several sources (Wikipedia, GlobalFirePower, Global Issues) the US military spending is far greater than any other country on earth. In fact, US military spending is almost half (48%) of the world total! Yes, that means that we spend more on war than pretty much all other countries in the world put together.

World military spending is exploding, having increased by 45% over the last ten years. The world spends the equivalent of $217 for each person on earth. And the US is leading the way. We spend five times more than China (the only other “superpower”). Ten times more than Russia. We spend more than twice of all of Europe put together. What about all those Arab or Islamic countries in the Middle East that we fear so much? We spend 11 times more than all of them put together.

To further put this in perspective, this is equivalent to $2700 for every American citizen, every year. No wonder we can’t afford health care, and yet lack of health insurance kills 45,000 Americans every year — more than any terrorism, war, or other military threat.




  1. ebdoug wrote:

    We have no jobs in this country because the jobs are in China (partly because we can’t make cheap goods be cause companies pay the health insurance). Isn’t the milatary creating jobs for our unemployed? Aren’t we paying $2700 to keep our people employed and give them health insurance? If we disbanded our huge milatary system, whatever would happen to those people plus all the people that provide the milatary with weapons, etc? Correct me if I’m wrong.

    Sunday, November 29, 2009 at 9:09 am | Permalink
  2. Ckarion wrote:

    People in the rest of the industrialized world make sure their taxes is spent on education, health care and social security. You know, things that actually improve peoples lives. It would be considered extremely dumb to give these things up in order to send citizens overseas to shoot at stuff. So, the question is not necessarily if the government should have employees, but what these employees should be hired to do.

    Monday, November 30, 2009 at 11:01 am | Permalink
  3. Military spending cuts will only come if there’s grassroots pressure to cut defense spending.

    Left entirely on their own, Congress more often than not acts in accordance with the will of their constituents, even if it makes no fiscal sense (i.e. exploding the military budget in the name of freedom while instituting not a war tax but tax cuts in the name of conservatism).

    The 2009 U.S. military budget is almost as much as the rest of the world’s defense spending combined. Healthcare spending is higher than anywhere else in the world. And all while taxes are lower than anywhere else in the Western world. It’s obscene when you think about it, and it’s certainly not sustainable, but I think it has become accepted because when it comes to big complex problems, the fear of political repercussions from upsetting an interest group or having the audacity to mandate that Americans to sacrifice something in order to resolve them outweighs the political benefits of telling Americans the the cold, hard truth (See Jimmy Carter, malaise speech).

    The truth is the defense budget can EASILY stand a 10% decrease in spending, but just as was the case with Wall Street and will be the case with climate change, until we reach the crisis stage of the problem, we’re not likely to do anything about it.

    Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at 8:43 am | Permalink