Voters are often told that candidates for the U.S. Congress lack any foreign policy platform because they don’t know enough about the topic and don’t plan to focus on it. The following is meant to quickly remedy that situation. Below is information on:
Setting aside mandatory spending (including Social Security, Medicare, and other spending that Congress does not address annually) as well as payments on debts, and looking only at discretionary spending (the money Congress spends each year at its discretion), over half in recent years has gone to military spending.
Military spending (discretionary and otherwise) includes a budget of three-quarters of a trillion dollars for the Pentagon, plus hundreds of billions more for nuclear weapons in the Energy Department, military activities of other departments including Homeland Security, the budgets of 17 secretive agencies, debt for past wars, and the Veterans Affairs budget.
U.S. military spending dwarfs the cost of most infrastructure and social needs spending legislation, the cost of any other item (or dozen items) of discretionary spending, and the military spending of any other nation. In 2020, U.S. military spending was more than the military spending of the next 11 biggest spenders combined, nine of which nations were U.S. weapons customers pressed by the U.S. government to increase their military spending. The next 14 biggest spenders below the top 12 were the only others to spend over 1% of U.S. military spending, and of those 14, 11 were U.S. weapons customers.