News Release

How Much Does Washington Spend on “Defense”?

CHRIS HELLMAN and MATTEA KRAMER, mattea at nationalpriorities.org
Hellman is communications liaison at the National Priorities Project, and Kramer is a research analyst with the group. They just wrote a report “War Pay: The Nearly $1 Trillion Security Budget,” which tallies the military budget, showing it to be much higher than is often stated. Their piece states: “In fact, with projected cuts added in, the national security budget in fiscal 2013 will be nearly $1 trillion – a staggering enough sum that it’s worth taking a walk through the maze of the national security budget to see just where that money’s lodged. …

“The Pentagon’s base budget doesn’t include war funding, which in recent years has been well over $100 billion. With U.S. troops withdrawn from Iraq and troop levels falling in Afghanistan, you might think that war funding would be plummeting as well. In fact, it will drop to a mere $88 billion in fiscal 2013. By way of comparison, the federal government will spend around $64 billion on education that same year. …

“You might assume that we’ve already accounted for nukes in the Pentagon’s $530 billion base budget. But you’d be wrong. Funding for nuclear weapons falls under the Department of Energy (DOE), so it’s a number you rarely hear. In fiscal 2013, we’ll be spending $11.5 billion on weapons and related programs at the DOE. And disposal of nuclear waste is expensive, so add another $6.4 billion for weapons cleanup.”