“National Security” One-Third of Budget

http://www.ronpaul2012.com/2011/09/20/national-security-one-third-of-budget/

During the George W. Bush years, when I would ask my fellow conservatives why a Republican president was spending like a Democrat, they would often tell me: “Well, we are fighting two wars.”

Lately, those in both parties who continue to advocate fighting two, three or more wars, have tried to cook-the-books by saying that national security spending doesn’t really cost that much when compared to the gross domestic product. Sure, our government might be broke, but our foreign policy and related policies have nothing to do with it, they tell us.

Admittedly, math has never been my forte, but even I’m not this stupid.

Today at The Daily Caller, constitutional lawyer Bruce Fein sets straight those who make this absurd argument:

With the same confidence President Bush had in Saddam Hussein’s weapons of mass destruction, (The Daily Caller Senior Editor)Jamie Weinstein has asserted that the nation’s bloated defense budget is not fueling the deficit crisis. With similar confidence, Weinstein also seems to believe that Ron Paul’s foreign policy arguments are “fallacious.”

Let us examine some of the assertions that Weinstein made in his recent Daily Caller op-ed, “Ron Paul’s foreign policy fallacies.”

On the national security budget, I will trust the judgment of readers. Below are some figures from President Obama’s 2012 official budget request.

The baseline request for the Department of Defense (DOD) is $558 billion. The supplemental request to fight the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq is $118 billion. The request for the Department of Energy’s development and housing of nuclear weapons is $19.3 billion. DOD has $7.8 billion requested for “Miscellaneous.” The State Department requests $8.7 billion for counterterrorism programs. An additional $71.6 billion is requested for homeland security counterterrorism, including $18.1 billion for DOD and $53.5 billion for the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Justice and the Department of Health and Human Services. National Intelligence Programs are budgeted for $53.1 billion. The Department of Veterans Affairs requests $129.3 billion to treat wounded veterans, a figure that is climbing exponentially as soldiers return from Iraq and Afghanistan with mental and emotional traumas.

The foreign affairs budget, including both its military and counterterrorism components, is $18 billion. Payments to military and DOD civilian retirees are budgeted at $68.5 billion. Interest on the national debt attributed to past borrowing to fund the Pentagon is $185 billion.

This brings the national security budget of the United States for FY 2012 to a staggering total exceeding $1.2 trillion, or approximately one-third of the entire budget and almost 100 percent of the projected budget deficit.

If the nation embraced the founding fathers’ creed of “Millions for defense, but not one cent for empire,” the national security budget could be slashed by 75% to $300 billion annually without impairing the safety of the United States from foreign attack. It would still leave America with the largest defense budget in the world…

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