July 9th, 2010
08:08 AM ET
13 years ago

Defense spending: Slaying the sacred cow

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/07/09/art.iraq.file9.gi.jpg caption ="A growing chorus of politicians and citizens is calling for defense spending to be scrutinized as much as any other federal program."]New York (CNNMoney.com) - It was once sacrosanct. But no more.

A growing chorus of politicians and citizens is calling for defense spending to be scrutinized as much as any other federal program when it comes time to tighten the nation's fiscal belt.

The United States spends more on defense than any other country, and about five times more than China, which ranks second on the list.

Defense spending is a big ticket in Washington. At $689 billion this year, it accounts for about 20% of the entire federal budget. And it makes up 50% of the so-called discretionary budget, which pays for everything but entitlement programs and interest on the debt. In other words, all federal funding for education, infrastructure, transportation, the arts, and scientific research, to name a few.

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Filed under: CNNMoney.com • Department of Defense • Economy
soundoff (30 Responses)
  1. David

    An excellent idea...

    July 9, 2010 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Todd

    I think we need to stop trying to police the world. Bring our troops home.

    NATO can take care of themselves now. It it probably amazing how much money we spend overseas.

    July 9, 2010 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Wake up and smell the coffee

    Democrats and Republicans both spend money (when the GOP is in power it spends as much and often MORE) - the only difference is what they spend it on. Democrats spend on the American people - making sure there is a social safety net, investing in education, investing in our future through research and energy initiatives. Republicans spend on the military (often giving lucrative contracts to their buddies, e.g. Cheney and Haliburton), corporate welfare and tax cuts for the rich. Through the GOP's policies, the rich have gotten much richer, the poor have gotten poorer and the middle class is now squeezed and shrinking. I will take the Democrats any day - at least they try to help the middle class. The GOP could care less. Now that we need to get serious about curtailing spending, you can bet that the GOP will want to protect its sacred cows - the military, the ultra-rich, and large corporations while throwing the rest of us under the bus.

    July 9, 2010 10:50 am at 10:50 am |
  4. bill

    if you are wooried about defence spending.simple solution.congress cut off funding bushes two wars.OR YOU COULD DO AS BUSH DID TAKE WARS OFF BUDGET.didnt hear anyone squeling about that.COME ON MEDIA GIVE THIS PRESIDENT A BREAK.

    July 9, 2010 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  5. Nadeem

    About time. I am canadain we have free healthcare for all, free education for all, university tuition below 5k, and about the same tax rate as the USA and lower debt.

    Bottom line a better standard of living for lower cost. Defense is the big monster with the most corruption. If anyone questions it they are called unpatriotic.

    If the USA is serous about the debt they must look at defense, no sacred cows.

    July 9, 2010 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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