President Obama recently set forth his final budget proposal, and it offers a strong rebuke to the usual rhetoric that America’s military is in decline. On the contrary, the proposed budget for the military is going to be held effectively constant at $583B for FY 2017, which compares with $584B in 2016.
Predictably, one of the defenses offered for this massive amount is the competition from Russia and China. But this justification does not stand up to any scrutiny. According to recent calculations by the National Priorities Project, the US spends as much on its military as the next seven countries combined (and yes, those seven include Russia and China). Yet in spite of this obvious fact, some Congressional Republicans responded to the proposal by demanding even more money for the military.
This offers yet more evidence that the military is immune to any budgetary pressures, and is one reason why it might be a good idea to bet on stupid, as we’ve proposed previously. (Coincidentally, Lockheed Martin’s stock has been up this week, likely due in part to this news.)