Carronade The Yankee Sailor Carronade

The Sea is a choosy mistress. She takes the men that come to her and weighs them and measures them. The ones she adores, she keeps; the ones she hates, she destroys. The rest she casts back to land. I count myself among the adored, for I am Her willing Captive.

I've relocated to a new Yankee Sailor.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

U.S. Defense Budget Put in Perspective

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Schoomaker put America's defense expenditures in perspective yesterday.

AMERICANS spend as much on "plastic Santa Clauses and tinsel" and other Christmas decorations as they do on their military, the United States Army's top general said yesterday.

Lamenting at complaints by some about high defence spending, Gen Peter Schoomaker, the chief of staff, told reporters: "I don't understand. What's the problem?"

Gen Schoomaker said the defence budget the Bush administration requested this year - nearly $440 billion (£246 billion), not including the costs of war in Iraq and Afghanistan - was just over 3 per cent of the nation's economy.

"What do you think we spent on plastic Santa Clauses and tinsel and all this stuff for Christmas last year?" he asked reporters. "The answer is $438.5 billion, roughly equivalent to the defence budget.

"We've got a lot to be thankful for in this country and we've got a lot to lose."
Despite nearly $10b per month for the war on terror, Americans' still think their tinsel and lights budget is more important.

Update: A little more perspective, courtesy of Truth and Politics:

U.S. Military Spending as a Percentage of GDP (1940-2003):

U.S. Military Spending as a Percentage of Discretionary Spending (1962-2003):