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You Decide: President to Address Nation

Proposing $54 Billion Defense Budget Increase - Why?

February 28, 2017 / NYC Government / NYC Business / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC.

Tonight President Trump will address the nation regarding his plans for the U.S. One of the notable previews given by sources within the Administration is that Trump plans to increase Defense spending by $54 billion. I decided to take a quick look at some of the economic statistics to see if that appears warranted, especially vis a vis other priorities.

u.s. government spending deficits

U.S. Government Deficits

The first chart [Congressional Budget Office] shows that the U.S. government has been spending more than it has been taking in. The gap widened in the wake of the September 2008 near financial meltdown, as tax receipts fell and fiscal stimulus [government spending] was needed to keep the economy going.

The higher levels of debt continued through the first term of the Obama Administration and then fell sharply back to Bush II era levels during the second term of the Obama Administration.

The net result is that near financial meltdown resulted in higher government deficits, which added to the overall U.S. government debt.

 

U.S. Government Debt

u.s. government debt chart wikimedia wikipediaThe second chart [Wikipedia] shows U.S. government debt relative to U.S. GDP. GDP is the acronym for Gross Domestic Product, which is a measure of the nation's economic output in goods and services.

The chart shows that the overall U.S. government debt relative to GDP rose significantly in the wake of the 2008 near financial meltdown. Currently the U.S. debt level is equal to about an entire year of U.S. economic output.

Many economists think that the U.S. has an unhealthy level of debt as it doesn't provide much slack for unforseen circumstances, like the 2008 near financial meltdown or prolonged involvement addressing international crises.

 

U.S. Defense Spending One Third of Global Total

About Equal to the Next 8 Nations Combined

u.s. defense spending relative to the rest of the worldCurrently the U.S. appears to overspend on military operations vis a vis the rest of the world. The U.S. military accounts for one third of defense spending in the world and its budget is roughly equal to the military budgets of the next EIGHT leading defense spenders in the world.

 

You can see this in the chart at right which was created by the Institute for Strategic Studies and published in the Washington Post.

 

Click here to read the rest of our report on how out of balance U.S. Defense Spending in America is compromising the nation's economic future.


You Decide: President to Address Nation

Proposing $54 Billion Defense Budget Increase - Why?

February 28, 2017 / NYC Government / NYC Business / News Analysis & Opinion / Gotham Buzz NYC. Continued.

U.S. Economy Less than a Quarter of Global Total

About Equal to Only the Next 3 Nations Combined

u.s. economy size relative to worldBy contrast the U.S. economy represents less than a quarter of the global economy [versus a third of defense spending] and the U.S. economy is equal to the next THREE leading economies in the world [versus eight nations in military spending].

 

In the chart at right you can see the U.S. economy depicted in size versus the next eleven economies in the world. The chart was prepared by the International Comparison Program [ICP] which involves the World Bank in making its comparisons.

 

Does Trump Proposal to Increase Defense Spending $54 Billion Make Sense?

So my question is why is the president proposing to INCREASE defense spending, when we're spending so much more - relative to the size of our economy - than the entire rest of the world?

When private industry is asked to do so much more, with so much less, because it's possible with technology - does it really make sense to increase military spending?

It seems this sort of prolonged drain of resources - financed by borrowing from other nations on the backs of our children - actually weakens us, not strengthens us.

We'll find out how President Trump justifies this tonight. Next week I'll have more for you to consider about other national / economic priorities that the data indicates have far greater need for more resources than the U.S. military.

Isn't Trump the Greatest Negotiator in the World?

The Defense department spends well over a HALF TRILLION DOLLARS ANNUALLY. Is it possible that those in charge of our Defense spending are not good managers of the money they are given? Shouldn't former businessman President Trump teach them how to operate more leanly and better NEGOTIATE their contracts?

Aren't Security Risks Today Best Solved by Intelligence not Big Military?

It seems these days the real security risks are not so much military as they are terrorist. That would imply a change in strategy from spending on big hardware, to spending on intelligence. Unfortunately calm, thoughtful, intelligence appears to be in short supply at the White House these days.


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