Have we become a welfare state for the military-industrial complex? In August, 2018, Congress passed the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) with overwhelming bi-partisan support. It authorized a whopping $717 BILLION in military expenditures, a $98 Billion increase over the 2017 NDAA. Only ten senators voted against this bill, and neither of Iowa’s two senators was among the ten.
Why is this important?
First, and most easily understood, is that the FY 2019 military budget translates into about $2,200 per person in the United States. Repeat, $2,200 per person. Of course, that is not proportionally reflected in the taxes that we pay. This gargantuan expenditure is mostly funded by new Federal debt. The deficit for FY 2018 was $782 billion, and is projected to be over $1 trillion in FY 2019. So, we will let our grandchildren carry that burden.
Second, with funding for the military consuming 58% of total Federal discretionary spending, all other programs are suffocated. For example, military funding is 81.5 times more than the budget for the Environmental Protection Agency.