Risto Juola
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When All Spending Is Military Spending, Then None Is

Jan 08, 2010

This past December the American House of Representatives "approved a ... bill to fund the Pentagon through the remaining 10 months of fiscal 2010." The amount? $636 billion.

On a related note, militaryindustrialcomplex.com claims that the total value of all publicly reported American defense contracts since October 30th, 2006 is $875,486,950,134 (up from $874,063,722,549 on January 3rd, 2010, which is an increase of $1,423,227,585 -- note that I include mention of this increase in order to suggest that this is an interesting site to keep an eye on). While the summations on militaryindustrialcomplex.com should not be considered "100% accurate," what's most important here is the sheer size of the numbers involved, and the "significance of such a relationship between ... government and business."

To give these numbers some context consider global military spending for the year 2008, during which American military spending comprised 48% of all military spending.

"From my standpoint, I think numbers almost are distracting." Which is to say: numbers like this might almost be distracting to the observer who is untrained in the ways of bureaucracy, and perhaps cause that observer's thoughts to stray beyond the boundaries of bureaucratic truth, and perhaps even cause that observer to mistakenly hazard a question about the foundations of these numbers. Almost.

It's good though. "One important reason we have a Defense Department is that when we give it money, it spends it, which creates jobs, whereas if we left the money in the hands of civilians, we don't know what they'd do with it. Probably put it in open trenches and set it on fire." Foolish civilians.