News Release

Has the Military Budget Been Slashed? Is It Effective at Creating Jobs?

The House is having a series of votes on military spending today. The Boston Globe reports today: “Congressional Republicans have begun a drumbeat of opposition to Pentagon cuts they agreed to last summer as part of the debt deal with President Barack Obama, and want to shift the burden of cuts to food stamps, school lunches and other domestic programs.

“Armed with an industry-backed analysis that shows the loss of 2 million jobs — particularly in the aerospace industry in California and the swing state of Virginia — Republicans are blaming Obama in an attack that stretches from Washington to the presidential campaign trail.”

Hellman is communications liaison at the National Priorities Project and specializes in the military budget. He said today: “The notion that the military budget has sustained deep cuts in service to deficit reduction is outrageous. The military budget has grown every year for more than a decade — it has grown like a ‘gusher,’ to quote former defense secretary Robert Gates. Now the Department of Defense base budget faces a slim 2.5 percent cut in fiscal 2013. This myth that the military has been hit hard is holding up progress in today’s budget debates.”

Assistant research professor at the Political Economy Research Institute at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst and co-author of the report “The U.S. Employment Effects of Military and Domestic Spending Priorities: An Updated Analysis,” Garrett-Peltier said today: “My calculations show that the arms industry’s claims about increased unemployment are vastly exaggerated. A billion dollars spent on military production created about 11,000 jobs, compared to about 17,000 from clean energy, 19,000 from health care, and 29,000 from education.”

She also co-wrote the piece “Benefits of a Simmer Pentagon: Despite Claims to the Contrary, Cutting Military Spending Could Actually Boost the Economy.”