Thursday, December 30, 2004


I just saw this article in the New York Times and am unbelievably happy. It's not that I think the Pentagon's budget is too big, and that we should be working to reduce it...not at all. In fact, I'm perfectly happy for the Pentagon to get as much money as it thinks it needs to make sure that we have the most unfair military advantage on the planet.

I'm also not happy because I think this is going to make a difference in the budget deficit. Federal outlays this year are at $2.312 trillion dollars. These cuts would take $10 billion dollars off a year for the next six years, a mere rounding error. In fact, I've pointed out before that looking to defense and discretionary spending as the source of the budget deficit is nonsense given what a small percentage of that $2.3 trillion dollars they are.

Still, just because I think high levels of defense spending are worthwhile doesn't mean I think we should be throwing away that money. I was very happy when the Comanche was cancelled earlier this year, and now I am very happy that they are "sharply reducing" the F-22 program. While these two weapons might be fun toys, I'm not sure how useful stealth helicopters and stealth fighter jets are going to be against most of the enemies we are likely to face for the next generation or two.

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