Name two words you’d use to describe the state of our union. I bet “chaos” and “division” would leap to mind pretty quickly.
But in the midst of the fresh evidence we get on a nearly daily basis confirming our state of chaotic disunion, our elected officials seem to have reached consensus on one thing: Our military is “starved,” or “gutted,” and needs a major increase of funds to turn things around.
It’s now on track to get one. The budget deal that reopened the government after a few hours’ hiatus in December gives the military $80 billion extra this year and $88 billion next year — a 13 percent increase. Plus some extra money, about $60 billion, for our Overseas Contingency Operations, i.e. the wars we are actually fighting.
The problem is, this consensus is wrong. Far from being starved or gutted, the Pentagon has more money, adjusted for inflation, than it ever had during the Reagan-era military buildup. The new money will bring its budget very close to its post-World War II record. We’re spending more on our military than the next eight countries put together. Four times more than China. Nine times more than Russia.
Need more evidence that this rush to throw more money to the Pentagon is ill-advised? Here’s some: