Reason Foundation

http://reason.org
http://reason.org/news/show/taxpayers-guide-to-the-stimulu-6

Reason Foundation

Taxpayer's Guide to the Stimulus:
3. U.S. Armed Forces

Location in Stimulus Bill:
Division A, Title III, Title IV, and Title X

Previous: 2. CJS > Taxpayer's Guide > Next: 4. Energy

Summary: Nearly $18 billion is given to the Department of Defense for modernizing bases, building hospitals, and developing new technology, and to the Army Corps of Engineers for infrastructure projects.

>> Spending

$7.9 billion for the Department of Defense. This money is for all branches of the military and DoD facilities. The funding includes $400 million to "modernize" military medical facilities through the "Defense Health Program," and $75 million for its own "research, development, test and evaluation" of new defense technologies. In Title X, DoD was given $1.45 billion to build military hospitals and design programs that make the military more energy efficient, and $555 million for a "Homeowners Assistance Fund" that helps those financially impacted by the closing or reduction of a military base.

$4.6 billion for the Army Corps of Engineers. Title IV gives this money to the ACE for restoring parts of the nation’s flood control infrastructure and for developing environmental protection projects. The purpose of this money is to create jobs by speeding up projects that have already begun.

$2.2 billion for the U.S. Army Modernization. This money is largely allocated to "modernize" Army, Army Reserve, and Army National Guard facilities, by putting $1.9 billion into their general funds. Separately, $268 million is given for construction of schools on military bases, family housing projects, and facilities to help soldiers readjust to civilian life.

$1.5 billion for the U.S. Air Force Modernization. This money is largely allocated to "modernize" Air Force, Air Force Reserve, and Air Force National Guard facilities, by putting $1.2 billion into their general funds. Separately, $326 million is given for construction of schools on military bases, troop housing, and family housing projects.

$1.2 billion for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps Modernization. This money is largely allocated to “modernize” Navy, Navy Reserve, Marine Corps, and Marine Corps Reserve facilities, by putting $940 million into their general funds. Separately, $280 million is given for construction of schools on military bases, troop housing projects, and programs to make the branches more energy efficient.

$375 million for Mississippi River & Tributaries Programs. The Army Corps of Engineers is already working on projects along the Mississippi River to develop energy and water preservation programs. This money will go towards accelerating those projects, and is intended to create jobs by prioritizing activities that are labor intensive.

>> Commentary

The money for the military has very little definition, leaving unanswered the question of why Congress decided to spend these general funds here if the Department of Defense was going to cut spending. Military spending for stimulus also ignores the question, if defense spending is so good for the economy, then why not increase it by $787 billion by alone? The answer is that, despite helping private defense contractors, military spending does not lead to massive economic growth.

This is still spending for spending’s sake, and it ignores the principle that every time a dollar is spent by the government, it is either borrowed from the private sector—reducing the availability of money to businesses and individuals—or is printed and spent, reducing the value of money by increasing the money supply.

More from Reason on defense spending.

>> Government Recovery Websites

Department of Defense: http://www.defenselink.mil/recovery


Previous: 2. CJS > Taxpayer's Guide > Next: 4. Energy

Written by: Anthony Randazzo. Please email with any comments or corrections.


Print This