Bipartisan Group of Senators Beginning Push for Big Increase in US Military Spending

by | Apr 20, 2015


There is no doubt that the US government engages in extraordinary military and “national security” spending. In February, a Washington Post article cited an International Institute for Strategic Studies report ranking US “defense spending” at four and a half times that of China (the next biggest spender), close to matching China and the next 13 nations combined, and more than a third of the total defense spending of all nations. As explained by Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member Robert Higgs, even such calculations far understate US national security spending by focusing on the Department of Defense base budget while neglecting to include significant expenses including, for example, separately allocated war spending and US Department of Energy spending on the nuclear weapons program.

Despite this vast spending dwarfing that of other nations around the world, Alexander Bolton reports in the The Hill on Saturday that a bipartisan group of US Senators is focusing on gaining Senate approval for increased military spending beyond 2011 Budget Control Act (BCA) limitations when appropriations legislation is considered later this year.

Bolton suggests that the biggest obstacle to a large spending increase is that US House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) “is willing to increase defense funding, but he wants [the] total spending number to remain within the limits set by the BCA.” That puts Boehner at odds with President Barack Obama, who is willing to remove the BCA defense spending limitations “provided ceilings are also raised or eliminated on domestic spending.”

Boehner and other “conservatives” in the House and Senate who want to greatly increase spending on “defense” so long as the increased spending is offset with other spending cuts should consider a May of 2010 editorial by RPI Chairman and Founder Ron Paul. In the editorial, Paul examines the military-industrial complex-supported expenditures that “in many cases foment resentment that does not make us safer, but instead makes us a target.” Paul concludes: “There is nothing conservative about spending money we don’t have simply because that spending is for defense.” The full editorial is well worth the read by anyone who believes Americans would benefit from their government increasing military spending.


  • Adam Dick

    Adam worked from 2003 through 2013 as a legislative aide for Rep. Ron Paul. Previously, he was a member of the Wisconsin State Board of Elections, a co-manager of Ed Thompson's 2002 Wisconsin governor campaign, and a lawyer in New York and Connecticut.

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