The Mathematics of Defense Spending


List of countries by military expendituresTrump has proposed increasing U.S. Defense spending by $54 billion or 9.1%. What he neglects to say is that we are already spending  2.8 time the amount of the next country, China,  and the fact is if we are not able to maintain a credible defense spending 2.8 times what China spends we are unlikely to be able to do it spending 3.0 times what China spends. Other countries that might represent a threat to the United States spend significantly less on defense than China.

Instead, if our defense is as inadequate as Trump claims, he should look at how we are spending out money and how he can reallocate existing spending more effectively. Clearly, in absolute dollars we are spending enough money on defense.

Senator Bernie Sanders proposed increased spending on college education. From a comparative standpoint, this actually makes some sense since education is an investment in the future and the direct cost of higher education in the United States is by far the highest across all developed countries. In addition, the U.S. currently ranks fifth in the world in the proportion of adults that have university-level education, after Canada, the Russian Federation, Japan, and Israel.

See List of countries by military expenditures and Defense Budget by Country for more details on worldwide defense spending. For more on education see Education at a Glance 2014 United States.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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