Monday, March 5, 2018

Is the Military Spending too High?

Is the Military Spending too High?
Evan Turinske

According to Jasmine Tucker who wrote the article “The President's 2017 Budget Proposal in Pictures”, the government spends 15% of the budget on the military. That relates to roughly 632
billion dollars spent on the military (Tucker). This is not the largest department being spent on but it is still one of the largest. This includes all of the branches of the military, so it is the total amount spent on them.  Also according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the military employs 233,589 people (“Military”). This is a pretty large amount of people that serve because this includes everyone from combat soldiers to mechanics. This also is the total number of service members including every military branch and Coast Guard.

The government spending on the military is too high. The government should decrease the amount they spend on the military and use that money for a program that helps the American people. The United States is not currently in a war, so why is the government spending so much on the military? What is the point of investing in the military for it to not be used? Lowering the amount the government spends on the military will not decrease the aggregate demand, or decrease the number of jobs because the money is just going to be moved to a different category in the government. It also won’t lower the GDP because the spending won’t be lowered but only the money being used will change departments of the government. This won’t affect the economy it will just affect where the money goes.

The government could take 100 to 200 billion dollars from the military budget and put it into education or to any department that affects the American people in a positive way. If they decide to use the money and give it to the citizens, this will actually help the economy through the spending multiplier. The spending multiplier says that if the government gives people money they will then turn around and spend it a potion of it (“Multiplier”). This will keep on going because the money keeps changing hands and helps the economy. The government is spending 632 billion dollars on the military and taking 100 billion to 200 billion dollars will still leave them with over 400 billion dollars. The military currently spends 632 billion dollars on equipment and this equipment doesn’t get used. Some of the money spent is for the salaries but most of it is spent on equipment. The spending on the equipment can be less and that money can be used to help the American people. The government should lower the spending on the military and help the American People.

Works Cited
“Military Careers.” U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 24 Oct. 2017 www.bls.gov/ooh/military/ military-careers.htm, 1 Mar. 2018.

“The Multiplier Effect and the Simple Spending Multiplier: Definition and Examples” Study.com, 2018, https://study.com/academy/lesson/the-multiplier-effect-and-the-simple-spending -multiplier-definition-and-examples.html, 2 Mar. 2018.

Tucker, Jasmine, “The President's 2017 Budget Proposal in Pictures.” National Priorities Project, 17 Feb. 2016 www.nationalpriorities.org/analysis/2016/presidents-2017-budget-in -pictures/, 1 Mar. 2018.

15 comments:

  1. I do agree with your proposal that the proportions of our government’s spending is quite ridiculous, simply because our money could be used in other departments. However, I actually think that our military spending is fine, in the sense that if I were to change one section of the pie, it would definitely be the social security / unemployment / labor section. That is the largest piece of the pie and it certainly doesn’t need to be. I understand that we are not in a time of crisis, military-wise, however, the amount that it spent on national defense is for the safety and well-being of the American citizens. Sure, that budget can always fluctuate depending on time periods and future predictions, however, we would rather have a safe budget than a sorry one.

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  2. I feel that you may have some good points here, but I would be curious to see the actual breakdown of military spending, and then the usage of that spending in combat and training. I know of a few cases of giant sums of money being spent on ships that are never meant to leave the port, but even at 200 million dollars these cases make up a very small proportion of the total defense spending. No matter how big the number is, if it is being used to defend America and its interest it is worth it.

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  3. I do agree with the other comments, but I also don't think it would be a terrible idea to invest some of the money in the military and defense into other categories that need improvement. It's not like they should take out 10%, just enough to help make a difference in a category that needs the money now. Obviously this would be a different story if our country was currently in a war and needed as much money as we can get. However, with the money it can help us be prepared and I do think the government should keep most of the money invested into the military and defense since it does defend America so it would always be worth having money to help protect us. I thought this was a well written post about a very important and relevant topic to our current unit of study.

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  4. I do agree that certain sections of government spending lack funding, particularly education, which would benefit many Americans directly. However, I believe that additional funding for education should not be taken solely from defense spending. While we are not currently facing a major war, defense spending is always being used and it is necessary to be prepared. Your point about the spending multiplier is interesting, and based on this multiplier, the government does not have to increase spending or transfer payments by a large amount to result in a substantial increase in GDP. Thus, the government should look into reducing its spending in other large sectors and transfer that spending to smaller sectors before it considers cutting defense spending--and any of these reductions do not need to be too large since the spending multiplier will assist in increasing GDP.

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  5. Obviously our military spending is very high, but I don't think its to high as of yet. This is because if you look at America's role on the world stage, we need to have a high military/defense spending in order to achieve the standard required for our military to act efficiently when dealing with global matters. Also the reason we continue to spend so much money on the military even though we aren't in a war is so that our military can continue to advance technologically and as well as be keep up to date. The US needs a first-class military to insure the protection of its people and ideals and the best way to do that is to continue to have a decent portion of the government spending at its disposal.

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  6. Very good article! You mentioned, a proposal related to government spending on the military and I do agree that the proportions of our government’s spending is a little bit over the top. In the pie, some pieces need to be cut and some need to be added in to for government spending. In other words, some of the money could be used in other departments. I don't think that our military spending is too over the top or too high, I think it is just right. When looking at the pie image in your article, I see that unemployment, social security and labor is the piece of the pie that receives the most money. Yes, that needs government spending as well as all the other departments do but not as much as it is given. That department is important but also the safety of America is important even though we aren't going through a traumatic war or hard time. I think that the amount spent on national defense is just right.

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  7. Its clear to see that our military is spending a lot of money but I don’t think that it is to high. When looking at America’s job in the world we need to have a strong military in order to act efficiently when dealing with global situations and in order to do this we need to spend a lot of money. We also spend so much money because we need to advance our technology so we don’t fall behind other countries. America needs a strong military to make sure all people and protected and that the government and ideals of America is kept save.

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  8. I agree that the military spending is high, but it is very reasonable that we are spending 15% of government spending to keep our citizens safe and make sure that the US is a safe place. We should continue to spend 15% of our money on military, unless we get into a war, where we would need to spend more.

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  9. It is clear that we spend a lot of money on our military but I believe that the spending is justified because of how big our military is. Since we are one of the superpowers in the world, we need a big military to back up any claims that we might make or actions we might take because if we don't then we could be under the influence of another country. When you look at other pieces of the pie, you can see that the Social Security budget is over $1 trillion dollars. I believe that it would be best to take the 100-200 billion out of this piece of the pie because it would not affect the Social Security budget as much as it would our military budget.

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  10. I agree that the government does spend a lot on military. However, it's reasonable that our government spends this much because it keeps the citizens safe, which is a priority for many. We should continue to spend what we spend to help protect our citizens.

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  11. I agree that the government does spend a lot of its budget on the military and that it may be a little to much but that money does not go to waste because the equipment isn't being used. The equipment they have is to be used in case of emergency and should not be lowered because without military spending we would not have an army and without an army we could not protect ourselves.

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  12. You do make a strong case supporting a cut in spending on the military but even though some things don't get used it does not mean that won't ever become necessary. We live in a world with a lot of very powerful people who are pretty on edge about threats and actions taken by others. With this being said, just because we are not currently fighting a war does not mean it will stay that way and if something does happen it is best to play it safe and just make sure the American people can stay safe. Just because it isn't used now doesn't mean it won't ever be used.

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    Replies
    1. I completely agree with Cam here and I think you make a decent case, but in reality in our modern day world, there is no way that we could decrease our spending in defense and the military. The economy should rather try to adapt in other ways to support positive economic growth, without having to cut the spending of the military and defense programs. It would not only hurt with military inventory but it would also send out a bad and negative image to other countries that could potentially make us look weak if we decide to decrease the military spending.

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  13. It can definitely be argued that our military receives a lot of spending, on the other hand I don't know how good of an argument can be made that the money this section receives is too much money. In a world where we are constantly concerned over our safety, you cannot put a price on relative piece of mind for the entire country.

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