Friday, February 10, 2006

Defense Spending approaching Cold War high

Well, Gee, what in the hell did you expect the Bush Family Evil Empire to do? Their collective portfolios had been in a downward spiral since peace broke out over a decade ago.

By Pamela Hess

UPI Pentagon Correspondent

Washington (UPI) Feb 08, 2006

As U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld shops his $439 billion, 2007 Pentagon budget request on Capitol Hill this week -- not including about $100 billion in war costs -- he is circumventing sticker shock by pointing to this measure: As a percentage of the economy, the defense budget is at historic lows.

What he does not say is this: As real spending goes, the Pentagon's budgets are now approaching the high-mark of the Reagan era, when the United States was squaring off against a superpower in the height of the Cold War.

Rumsfeld compares defense budgets as a percentage of gross domestic product; that is, the total value of all the goods and services produced by the country in a given year. Rumsfeld was teed up to discuss these numbers by Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.

"When I came to Washington in 1957 and served in the '60s in the Congress, the Kennedy and Eisenhower period, it was 10 percent of GDP," Rumsfeld told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday. "When I was secretary of Defense 30 years ago, it was about 5 percent. And today it's about 3.6 or 3.7 percent. So it's not a large fraction of the gross domestic product. And certainly this country is perfectly capable of spending whatever it is we need to provide for the security of the American people."

On Wednesday, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Duncan Hunter, R-Calif., did the honors of introducing the GDP metric.

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