There is a growing number of conservatives who are supporting the notion that every dollar spent on the Pentagon does not equal a more secure America. In fact, misallocation of resources can make the U.S. less safe both in terms of the ability of the military to fulfill its Constitutional obligations and in economic growth.
National Taxpayers Union and R Street Institute recently released a report entitled “Defending America, Defending Taxpayers” The report finds 100 specific recommendations totaling nearly $1.9 trillion in cuts over 10 years. These cuts do not make the U.S. less safe but more safe by allocating limited resources to programs that contribute to the defense of America.
Veronique de Rugy who is a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University recently co-authored a report entitled ” Defense Spending and the Economy” Her report confirms what conservatives have been saying for years about federal government spending on non-defense related programs i.e. that each dollar spent by the government hurts the free economy. Her particular research affirms the conservative position but specific to the pentagon. Using sequestration numbers, over five years, the U.S. economy gets roughly $1.30 of extra private spending for each $1.00 reduction in defense spending.
It seems clear from both reports that the U.S. can be defended in a fiscally prudent way. A way that provides our military with the equipment and training needed to fight the next war while also ensuring that the free economy is not burdened by misallocation of resources.
By Michael D. Ostrolenk