Last updated on: 3/16/2020 11:32:38 AM PST
Does the US Need to Increase the Military Budget to Improve National Security?
National defense accounts for about one-sixth of US federal spending. President Trump’s Fiscal Year 2021 budget requested $740.5 billion for national security, including $705.4 billion for the US Department of Defense, which received $704.6 billion in FY 2020. Total federal spending is estimated at $4.79 trillion for FY 2020. Some estimates place 2020 national security spending at $936 billion by factoring in costs for the Department of Homeland Security, Veterans Affairs, and other related US agencies. Defense spending has increased every year since 2016.
"Before I came into office, the military endured deep and devastating budget cuts. Our military, quite frankly, was very depleted.
As a candidate for President, I promised to reverse these crippling cuts, and to ensure our military remains unchallenged and unrivaled anywhere in the world...
The law I am signing today provides $738 billion — that's with a 'B.' Seven hundred and thirty-eight billion dollars in defense funding for the 2020. That's an all-time record. In the history of our country, that's the highest amount we've ever spent on our military."
Source: Donald Trump, "Remarks by President Trump at Signing Ceremony for S.1790, National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2020," whitehouse.gov, Dec. 20, 2019
"The United States has the best-trained and best-equipped military force the world has ever seen, but our superiority is being challenged in ways not seen since the Cold War. With the return to great power competition posed by the rise of China and a revanchist Russia, we need to maintain our superiority, but we must do so affordably and by preparing for the wars of tomorrow...
We can maintain a strong defense and protect our safety and security for less. The real question is not how much we invest — it's how we invest...
And we have to invest in our other elements of national power. Our military is one tool in our toolbox. We have become over-dependent on the military to advance our security interests overseas."
Source: Leo Shane III, "Military Times Questionnaire: Former Vice President Joe Biden," militarytimes.com, Nov. 18, 2019
"In addition to a more progressive tax system, we need to get our spending priorities straight. The U.S. military budget is greater than those of the next 10 largest military powers combined and eight of them are US allies. The military budget takes more than 60 percent of federal discretionary spending totaling $989 billion annually. $21 trillion of Pentagon financial transactions between 1998 and 2015 cannot be traced, documented, or explained.
The U.S. can cut its military budget by 75 percent and still spend more on the military than any other nation. We can invest the resulting peace dividend in a Global Green New Deal to meet basic needs like clean water and preventive health care around the world as well as help developing countries leap over the fossil fuel age into the solar age. By acting as the world’s humanitarian superpower instead of its global military occupation force we can make friends instead of enemies. A Global Green New Deal will build a sustainable peace where the world’s nations work cooperatively to solve our common problems of the climate and poverty."
Source: Howie Hawkins, "Tax Day 2019: Time to End Taxes to Confront Inequality and Implement an Ecosocialist Green New Deal," howiehawkins.us, Apr. 15, 2019
"Absolutely not. As president, I will make America like One Giant Switzerland: Armed and Neutral. I will immediately order our troops home from Afghanistan and the Middle East, which will allow us to substantially cut the military budget. Our military will be armed, trained, able, and ready to defend American soil and shores against foreign aggressors."
Source: Communication from the Jorgensen campaign to ProCon.org on Aug. 26, 2020
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