We’ve been constantly hearing from opponents of defense spending that reductions of the defense budget would “save money” and “reduce the deficit”. They would – but only in an insignificant manner and only in the short term. In the long term, they would cost taxpayers more than a properly funded military with a defense budget of 3.78% of GDP.
Defense spending cuts would weaken the military, thus inviting America’s enemies to start wars and win them, or at least inflict serious casualties on the US military.
Reductions of defense spending would not balance the budget, significantly reduce it, or even significantly contribute to a balanced budget nor to a reduced deficit. The defense budget is too small for such changes. Reductions of defense spending would, however, weaken the military, and that is absolutely unacceptable.
Reductions of defense spending would not save taxpayers a cent in the long term. They would save taxpayers a little money in the short term, but their other results (program cost overruns, program delays, and a weaker, more vulnerable America and wars invited by defense cuts) would be much costlier in the long term. It would be much cheaper for taxpayers if the Congress simply funded the DOD adequately, i.e. at no less than $553 bn (in 2011’s money) per year.