The Real US Military Budget: $1 Trillion

John Glaser, February 20, 2012

From Steve Clemons at the Atlantic:

A Republican, numbers-compulsive defense wonk at the Center for Defense Information, Winslow Wheeler, has published a great summary of what America’s defense budget ‘really’ is.

Wheeler offers a chart of the budget figures for both 2012 and 2013 — starting with what is called the “DOD Base Budget (Discretionary)”.  He then adds line items from different accounts throughout other parts of the budget that really should be part of what is considered defense and security — including the odd factoid that the Department of Defense and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) issue different figures of what the DOD Base Budget really is — with the Pentagon shorting what it gives the media by about $6 billion.


Using the more common, lower figures like the $728 billion military budget the U.S. allocated in 2010, Veronique de Rugy recently wrote that’s “about 45 percent of the world’s $1.6 trillion total, more than the next 14 largest military spenders combined and nearly six times more than the next biggest spender, China.” Using Wheelers numbers those ratios are even more jarring.

Imagine if a fraction of that $1 trillion dollars was given to you to spend or invest how you please. Think you could do it more productively? Well, imagine that many, many times over – if this money being shoveled into the pockets of rent-seekers in the military industrial complex and wasted abroad on killing innocent people was never taken from taxpayers to begin with.

5 Responses to “The Real US Military Budget: $1 Trillion”

  1. Where is CIA? Other estimates are as high as $1.2 trillion.
    BTW total annual revenue from federal INCOME tax is $ 1 trillion. What does that say about the need for an income tax?

  2. It's needed to fund the war machine I suppose. All that massive chunk out of everyone's paycheck is for the war machine. All other services can be funded through money creation.

  3. [...] why they’re concerned about terrorist attacks but not about heart disease. It pushes the military budget to $1 trillion, more than the rest of the world combined. Indeed, the dangers we do face are largely the result of [...]

  4. The Income tax is a concept that is counter to capitalistic functionality.
    Pay roll tax funds entitlements. A national sales tax could supplement that. We only have to make it 10-15 years until the baby boomers start to die off and then the annual entitlement requirement will decrease.
    The Income tax should not exist as anything more than a war time tax that dissolves when the war is over as the military shrinks its budget back down.
    Now, they will screw you are saying downsizing. However, in 2000 they had 1.3 million total personnel running on a 300 billion budget. In 2012 they only have 1.4 million total personnel, meaning that the cost for a 100K plus up in personnel is 700 billion? Wrong. The cost of operations and contingencies no longer needed should thereby decrease that required funding.

  5. There is no doubt in the truth of this news in my opinion. One of the most helpful tools is the best uk essay service in order to create an impressive English composition. Definitely carrying out so many projects at the same time in so many areas can not be done in a small budget.