The cold war is over. There is simply no rationale for a defense budget of the size now contemplated by the Bush administration. One need not be an expert in military strategy or international affairs to understand that spending anywhere near $300 billion on defense in Fiscal Year (FY) 1991 is an irresponsible waste of money.
The administration’s budget proposes that it be given the authority in FY 1991 to commit $307 billion to be spent for military purposes. Actual spending would be about $303 billion, representing a 2.3 percent increase in nominal terms, which an assumed 4.9 percent inflation rate translates into a 2.6 percent cut in real terms. This budget provides for only a slight change in the rate of decline since the defense budget peak of FY 1987; in real terms that decline has averaged 2 percent per year in
spending and 2.9 percent per year in budgetary authority. Given the dramatic change in the international political climate, Bush’s budget is completely isolated from reality.
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