Republican Math and the Pentagon Budget


| 3/21/2012 11:50:48 AM


Tags: Defense Department, federal budget, 2012 election, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum, Barack Obama, William Hartung, Tom Dispatch,
Fighter Jet Raptor

 This post originally appeared on Tom Dispatch. 

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If you’ve been fretting about faltering math education and falling test scores here in the United States, you should be worried based on this campaign season of Republican math. When it comes to the American military, the leading Republican presidential candidates evidently only learned to add and multiply, never subtract or divide.

Advocates of Pentagon reform have criticized President Obama for his timid approach to reducing military spending. Despite current Pentagon budgets that have hovered at the highest levels since World War II and 13 years of steady growth, the administration’s latest plans would only reduce spending at the Department of Defense by 1.6% in inflation-adjusted dollars over the next five years.

Still, compared to his main Republican opponents, Obama is a T. rex of budget slashers. After all, despite their stated commitment to reducing the deficit (while cutting taxes on the rich yet more), the Republican contenders are intent on raising Pentagon spending dramatically. Mitt Romney has staked out the “high ground” in the latest round of Republican math with a proposal to set Pentagon spending at 4% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). That would, in fact add up to an astonishing $8.3 trillion dollars over the next decade, one-third more than current, already bloated Pentagon plans.

Nathan Hodge of the Wall Street Journal engaged in polite understatement when he described the Romney plan as “the most optimistic forecast U.S. defense manufacturers have heard in months.”

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dan pieniak
3/23/2012 5:29:53 PM

It is quite amazing how little people have in this country in the way of health care and human services. But our governmernt still continues to go over to other countries, invade them in the name of freedom, and spend billions of dollars in taxpayer money while showing our miltary might, along with killing all our young soldiers. And it never seems to matter what political party is in office...... Oh, and let's not forget the images of civilians being killed when we invaded Iraq. No wonder why the world hates Americans!