Defense Spending: Almost 5 Percent of GDP

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Monday, February 01, 2010 at 4:31 pm

DODGDP
OK, one more Pentagon budget chart. This should give a sense of the Pentagon budget in a broader context. Even through the Bush years, there ran a critique that the U.S. was “only” spending 3.5 percent of GDP on defense. One Rumsfeld enthusiast called that paltry sum dominance “without even breathing hard.” Well, now it’s 4.7 percent of GDP. Feel safer?

Now, it isn’t just increases to the base budget that account for that growth alone. It’s the ongoing expenses of Iraq and Afghanistan — which will end at some point; the Iraq deployment will end next year — and the miserable state of the economy. So we’ll have to see what this looks like going forward. But still — nearly five percent of GDP…

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Comments

12 Comments

nickschwellenbach
Comment posted February 1, 2010 @ 6:32 pm

Of course that excludes the Energy Dept, State Dept, DHS, VA and other-national security expenditures that are not part of the DoD's budget and the supp — which nearly double the total spent on national security to over $1 trillion, according to Winslow Wheeler — what does that take us up to? Nearly 8% of GDP? A major piece of context as well: WWII and Vietnam-levels of defense spending took place when there was not nearly as much spent on Medicare/Medicaid and Social Security and we didn't spend a lot on interest payments on our debt.


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davidmaxwellfine
Comment posted February 5, 2010 @ 2:13 pm

Is the percentage of GDP the way to think of, consider how big or excessive, Defense spending, the DOD budget has grown to? 44% of GDP in WWII, but what percentage of the Govt budget then?

In the modern world of 2010, seems that defense spending should be more around 25 % of the total fed gov budget…


davidmaxwellfine
Comment posted February 5, 2010 @ 7:13 pm

Is the percentage of GDP the way to think of, consider how big or excessive, Defense spending, the DOD budget has grown to? 44% of GDP in WWII, but what percentage of the Govt budget then?

In the modern world of 2010, seems that defense spending should be more around 25 % of the total fed gov budget…


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