Look, I realize this is obvious, but US military spending makes no sense. There is no adversary and no threat.
You could argue that military adventurism serves American business and thus the American economy. But I’ve never seen credible evidence of this. Do you know anybody who got a job off the Iraq war? There were patronage jobs aplenty for Republican party careerists. There were jobs for soldiers, obviously, but with a death and severe injury rate that makes it a pretty terrible job, even in comparison to the service industry.
You could argue that the military advances policy goals, but those goals can also be pursued with diplomacy or economic pressure. The military is more expensive.
The money spent on the military is corruption. It’s payoffs on behalf of politicians in exchange for help with their careers. They get to look masculine by being pro-war, they reap campaign donations and votes from defense contractors, they please local voters who make money off military bases, they stroke their egos by supporting the idea of American exceptionalism.
Military spending was 20% of the federal budget in 2010. We don't need to spend any more on military than other first world powers. We spend 10X more than our peers, so we could cut 90% of spending without making in dent in our actual ability to defend ourselves.
The military budget *doubled* under W Bush. So that 20% of our budget could drop to 10% by cutting his increase. Why aren't we doing that? Because the corruption maw grew once again.
Ok, whatever. We all knew it already. No new info here. I had a momentary feeling that the obvious needs to be stated every once in a while, so that we don't lose track of the ground truth. It will pass.
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