Rasmussenreports.com lies about US military spending


Earlier this month and in January 2011, Rasmussenreports.com lied about American military and defense spending to mislead the public, which, RR believes, doesn’t know this issue as well as the “enlightened” pollsters of that company. Says the RR.com website:

“only 25% of voters believe the United States should always spend at least three times as much on defense as any other nation. Forty percent (40%) do not think the country needs to spend this much, while 35% are not sure. Interestingly, if the government were to actually spend only three times as much as any other nation, it would imply a significant cut in U.S. defense spending.

For fiscal year 2011, the total budget for defense is estimated to be around $719 billion. That does not include the cost of veterans’ care, which totals another $124 billion. By comparison, no other nation in the world spends more than $110 billion on defense. Earlier polling showed that just 58% recognize that the United States spends more on defense than any other nation in the world.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/january_2011/voters_underestimate_how_much_u_s_spends_on_defense

Those are blatant lies. Firstly, the FY2011 military budget is NOT “around $719 bn”. The DOD requested $708 bn for FY2011 and never received that sum. The DOD instead received a $525 bn base budget and a $150 bn supplemental to wage the GWOT. All combined, this doesn’t add up to $719 bn. Not even close. So the FY2011 military budget is NOT “around $719 bn”. Now, for the remainder of Fy2011, Gates is requesting $540 bn.

Secondly, America has never had a $719 bn military budget. The DOD’s Fy2010 budget was $674 bn and for FY2012, the DOD has requested $671 bn ($553 bn + $118 bn).

America has never had a $719 bn military budget. Not this fiscal year. Not ever.

RasmussenReports.com also lied that:

“While it is impossible to measure precisely, according to many estimates, the United States spends about as much on national security as every other nation in the world combined.”

RR.com has cited ZERO estimates to support its false claim – because none exist. The truth is that the US is responsible for only 43% of the world’s total military spending. According to the SIPRI’s “The military Balance, 2010” total American military spending for CY2009/FY2010 was $663 bn in 2009’s money (including the GWOT supplemental) and it represented only 43% of the world’s total military spending. Estimates from truthandpolitics.com indicate a similar number. So the claim that the US spends as much on its military as every other country in the world combined is false. It’s a blatant lie.

RR.com also lied that:

“Total Department of Defense spending for Fiscal Year 2011 is projected to reach $718.8 billion, up from $688.0 billion the year before. That reflects a 4.5% spending increase. The new figure includes $159.3 billion for Overseas Contingency Operations, including Iraq and Afghanistan.

A total of $138.5 billion is spent directly on military personnel.

The Department of Defense budget is just one portion of the expenditure for national security. The Veteran Affairs Department is projected to spend $123.8 billion in 2011. The vast majority of this spending goes for medical care and disability payments.”

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/general_politics/november_2010/voters_recognize_u_s_military_spending_tops_other_countries

The $719 bn budget lie has already been dealt with. It has never become law. The DOD is still operating under a ConRes with significantly reduced funding. As for the VA budget – it has NOTHING to do with “national security”, NOTHING to do with defense, and nothing to do with “NS expenditures”. Sure, it has a sizeable budget, but it’s a civilian agency serving veterans, doesn’t do any military tasks, doesn’t wage wars, and, as RR.com admitted, “The vast majority of this spending goes for medical care and disability payments.”

By lying about America’s military spending, RR.com has irredeemably discredited itself. It’s not worth reading anymore. Scott Rasmussen should be ashamed of himself and his polling company.

All together, Department of Defense and Veteran Affairs spending totals approximately 22% of the federal budget for 2011.”

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