[NYT link] The Pentagon on Monday will unveil its proposed 2009 budget of $515.4 billion. If it is approved in full, annual military spending, when adjusted for inflation, will have reached its highest level since World War II.
That new Defense Department budget proposal, which is to pay for the standard operations of the Pentagon and the military but does not include supplemental spending on the war efforts or on nuclear weapons, is an increase in real terms of about 5 percent over this year.
Overall since coming to office, the administration has increased baseline military spending by 30 percent...
[...] Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and Admiral Mullen have said military spending should not drop below 4 percent of the national economy. “I really do believe this 4percent floor is important,” Admiral Mullen said. “It’s really important, given the world we’re living in, given the threats that we see out there, the risks that are, in fact, global, not just in the Middle East.”
[...] “The secretary believes that whenever we transition away from war supplementals, the Congress should dedicate 4 percent of our G.D.P. to funding national security,” Mr. Morrell said. “That is what he believes to be a reasonable price to stay free and protect our interests around the world.”
Over half a trillion dollars—not including the war? Fucking absurd. Almost as absurd as the idea of tying the funding of anything to G.D.P. Unless The Decider (or anybody else) is willing to index government tax revenues to G.D.P. as well.
If you want to set a floor percentage of the budget for defense, fine, but this idiotic.
UPDATE: Hilzoy did a much better job on this the other day...including this chart (via Ezra):
Ezra adds: "Our spending is 43 percent of the total. Not the total on that chart. The total of the world."
All of the candidates running for PResident are calling for various increases of some sort (Barack Obama included, apparently) This is unacceptable. You want to shift money from ridiculous weapons programs into human costs? Fine, do it. YOu want to add troops? Great, do it at the expense of whatever fucking nuclear weapons Bush is still buying. There is no reason we should be spending anything close to this much of our money on this. Not while the rest of the country falls apart. Fuck that. Not EVER.
And don't give me any shit about "what about at a time of war?" Remember, this doesn't even include the fucking war!!!