Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Reason #18: Turns Out We Have Enough Guns After All

The Pentagon is bitching about the $350 billion defense budget cut that's currently underway, with as much as $600 billion more looming on the horizon. But here's what drives me crazy: those are not hard numbers from a current set of expenses. Those dollar amounts are coming out of "previously projected spending".

Imagine I spend $100 a year on cable (I wish). All things remaining equal, it can be assumed that my cable expenses for the next five years will then be $500. Now imagine I cancel my cable, then go around saying I just cut $500 out of my cable budget - when my real cost at that moment is only $100, and anyway, I could restart my cable at any time, so it's not even a guarantee that I would eventually save $500.

The reality of the defense budget is that it is always climbing, and would be almost impossible to truly cut. In the post image (which for once is actually relevant), the rising blue lines on the far right are defense spending in the last ten years or so. The cuts they're talking about right now would not make those lines start going down; they'd just climb a little more slowly.


  1. i would enjoy paying my taxes too if it werent unrerasonable sometimes!