- Playing politics August 8
Congress has added more than 300 expensive, unrelated earmarks to the current defense spending bill, tacking on some $20 billion in costs for projects like cancer research at historically black colleges and making sure troops are aware of the location of the gym on their military bases.
These earmarks were not requested by the Pentagon, but Congress has a long and complicated record of insisting that the military buy planes, weapons, ships, and more that the military does not want, whether because they are outdated, dangerous, or otherwise unneeded.
In 2013, American military spending totaled about $718 billion, and the U.S. spends more on war and defense than the next eight nations combined, easily dwarfing the military budgets of countries like China and Russia. Military spending is also the third-largest contributor to the $17 trillion national debt, which breaks down to about $55,000 per citizen.- - Bonnie Kristian
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- When Khomeini said no to Iranian nukes
Subscribe to the Week