Despite cuts, US military budget still bloated

by Mary Ann McGivern

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Defense Secretary Chuck Hegel has put forward a new Pentagon budget totaling $496 billion for the 2015 fiscal year.

The New York Times reports that the budget cuts the size of the Army to pre-World War II levels, reduces personnel benefits, ends use of the A-10 aircraft, and much more. The budget is a decrease from last year’s $526.6 billion proposal.

However, nuclear weapons are found in the Department of Energy budget and veterans’ costs in the Veterans’ Administration budget. So when reprinted Business Insider’s chart comparing U.S. military spending with the next ten biggest military budgets, the total U.S. military budget in 2012, $682 billion, eclipses their combined sum of $652 billion.

Business Insider reports U.S. military spending to be about 20 percent of federal spending. But in its estimation of the federal budget, the War Resisters League excludes Social Security and other dedicated funds, but includes the cost of borrowed money to pay for past wars. In total, it placed U.S. military spending in fiscal year 2012 at $1.3 trillion, almost half of the discretionary budget, or the money Congress controls.

No matter how we report it, it’s a lot of money. Where our treasure is, there is our heart. 

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