Heritage experts refute liberal politicization of defense spending

Last Tuesday, Heritage experts Rachel Zissimos and Thomas Spoehr released a monumental report on defense spending that soundly debunks the liberal argument that we spend too much on defense compared with other nations.

The report explains:

Statements such as “the U.S. spends more on defense than the next eight countries combined” evoke an appearance of excess, but give no consideration to the decisions driving defense spending or the factors contributing to costs across national economies. Claims that the U.S. spends too much, as measured against the defense expenditures of other countries, are disingenuous. The security environment in which the U.S. military is expected to operate has grown increasingly complex, and national defense resourcing warrants more than a solitary sentence of discussion.

The experts present a sound case to defeat the leftist rhetoric that downplays the necessity of spending for a strong defense. They argue that we should base funding decisions on national security requirements – not arbitrary comparisons. These comparisons fail to take into account many fundamental differences such as the value of the dollar and what it can buy in different economies. This fact alone delegitimizes dollar-for-dollar comparisons. Additionally, the United States has many unique security needs that are not applicable to other countries. With this perspective, the experts assert that we should not focus on how much we currently spend but how much we need to spend to meet our national security needs.

The report concludes:

The U.S. should not strive to achieve military defense parity with other countries, in either cost or capability. Rather, the goal of the U.S. should be military superiority, so that when the nation must fight, it will win—and win decisively.

Read the full report here>>

When Heritage weighs in on an important debate like national security, people listen. Thanks to you, our experts continue to counter the liberals myths and misperceptions about our military and national defense propagated. And they continue to deliver excellent research and sound, conservative policy to those in positions of influence.

What do you think about the Left’s characterization of defense spending?

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