“America’s Mayor” Rudy Guiliani spoke at a College Republican-sponsored event at Dartmouth last week and weighed in on the debt ceiling debate, saying that if it does get raised, the U.S. could potentially have “one of the weaker economies in the world.” (Actually dire economic consequences will result if the debt ceiling isn’t raised.) Then, Giuliani — who is reportedly considering another run for president — said that whatever happens, military spending should be left alone because it’s apparently not a big part of the federal budget anyway:
“I think we use our foreign aid budget pretty efficiently,” he said. “There are much more important things to cut.
He also said that defense spending is “not a major part” of the federal government’s budget, only constituting “about four or five percent” of the total.
Military spending actually is a major part of the federal government’s budget. Not only does the Pentagon’s budget make up 20 percent of total spending — not “4 or 5 percent” as Giuliani claimed — but the defense budget represents 50 percent of discretionary spending.
The United States is now spending more on defense than at any time since World War II. Moreover, the Senate Appropriations Committee recently found that the military’s budget increased more as a percentage than all other government expenditures since 2001. Indeed, the Pentagon’s baseline budget has nearly doubled in the last 10 years.
To his credit, Giuliani did tell Dartmouth students that he “would try to get control of defense spending.” But it seems like the first step would be for the former mayor to get the facts on how much the U.S. actually spends.