US Military Spending Remains Too High After Sequester Cuts

Last week, the issue of sequestration made the headlines again with the bipartisan decision to allocate more funds to the FAA after a flight delays around the country led to public uproar.

The sequester, which came into effect on March 1st forces the Federal government to proceed with $85 billion in budget cuts by the end of 2013. Defense programs were among the most affected with $45 billion in cuts, an 8 percent budget reduction. Over the next 10 years, defense cuts are supposed to total $500 billion.

If these cuts will certainly be felt in military towns such as San Diego and by military personel, many argue that the sequester barely impacts the defense budget and much more reduction is needed.

Since 2001, the Pentagon’s budget has been virtually unrestricted with the base budget soaring from $397 billion to $557 billion in 2013. According to the Cato Institute, even with the sequester, the 2013 defense budget would only return to its 2006 level, when the US was in the midst of the Iraq and Afganistan wars.

The organization highlights that the Pentagon currently spends more money than during the height of the Cold War, when USSR was a real military competitor that had a similar military budget.

The Cato Institute argues that today’s world is safer and does not require such spending. The United States spends 5 times more than its biggest competitor China.

After reading the following infographic, provided by the Cato Institute, how do you think the United States should address military spending in the coming years?

US Military Spending
Credit: Cato Institute