Honey, I Shrunk the Defense Budget

Baker Spring at the Heritage Foundation makes the case that the defense budget should be pegged to 4% of the Gross Domestic Product. He warns that if no action is taken soon, defense spending as a percetange of national economic output will decline to 3.2% by 2012.

This is the calm before the storm. The US defense budget tends to rise and fall at roughly 15-year intervals. The current upward cycle since 1998 is stretching the interval beyond its normal apogee. A defense spending freefall could be around the corner, although some analysts, such as defense industry optimist Loren Thompson, believe the upward spending track may continue indefinitely. But the fear of a freefall among defense hardliners and profitmakers remains, so expect to hear many such calls for tying defense spending to economic output over the next few years.

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