The Pentagon budget now stands at $740 billion, higher than at the peaks of the Vietnam War or Cold War. At the same time, we’re sure to see arguments that the trillions in emergency spending on the COVID-19 crisis require more austere federal budgets in the next administration.
For those who want to see a correction to bloated Pentagon spending — and the military overreach it represents — the deficit fears deeply ingrained in American politics may seem like a nifty political means. But this is at best a short-term strategy.
The events that arose from the last austerity movement, beginning with the 2011 passage of the Budget Control Act, can show us why.