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Bernie and the Cut-the-Military Brigade - WSJ

Bernie and the Cut the Military Brigade WSJ


U.S. defense spending has grown 41% since Sept. 10, 2001. But in that time Russia and China have increased spending by 267% and terrorists brought down the World Trade Center. Perhaps 41% isn’t enough. A little-noted fact: The 2015 budget was $120 billion less than planned. In 2010 the Defense Department projected the 2015 base budget—the portion that doesn’t cover current wars—at $616 billion. Instead, it was $496 billion. Had the 2010 plan held, defense spending would have been 4% of GDP last year.

But isn’t defense spending driving the budget deficit? Not really. Defense as a percentage of federal spending is also at a post-World War II low. It accounted for 16% in 2015, 25% under Reagan, 50% under Eisenhower and over 80% during World War II. The projection for 2017 is 14.9%.

Despite what Mr. Sanders and the anti-defense brigade would have you believe, America is getting its security—in an increasingly insecure world—at record low cost.

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