Does the U.S. spend too much on the military?
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Does the U.S. spend too much on the military?

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By an 89-8 vote, the U.S. Senate recently approved a massive increase in defense spending, bringing the military budget to $700 billion. Critics say our military budget is already too big, and we need to start prioritizing domestic spending on health care, education, and infrastructure. But supporters argue America's safety and military must come first—with threats like North Korea on the horizon, cutting defense is a risk we can't afford to take. What do you think?🎖️
The Votes Are In!

Despite the uncertainty surrounding the defense budget, President Trump has been touting his proposed $700 billion increase in military spending.

"Our budget this year — as you know, well over $700 billion — is getting us back to the position we have to be," Trump told a gathering of U.S. military leaders on Oct. 5. "Almost never have we needed a great, powerful, strong, and brilliant military — and that's where we are and that's where we're going, and going very rapidly."
Trump's defense budget request to Congress, which was released in May, calls for $603 billion in base funding, and the House and Senate have passed annual defense policy bills calling for $632 billion and $640 billion in base spending, respectively.

But according to SIPRI, the U.S. already accounts for more than a third of all military spending. If approved, this budget means the U.S. would be spending more than three times as much as China on its military, and 10 times as much as Russia. Many on the left say this kind of spending is disgraceful and misguided.

The Senate handed President Donald Trump far more than the $54 billion he asked for. The lavish spending package gives Trump a major legislative victory, allowing him to boast about fulfilling his promise of a “great rebuilding of the armed services.”

Others pointed out that the original bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in the Senate for a reason: a robust military budget is absolutely essential for American security.

Remember, robust defense funding serves a purpose. It allows the United States to preempt threats before they arrive at our shores. No other country is capable of protecting its interests around the world like the United States, and sustaining a military force that can project power worldwide comes at a cost.

But social justice advocates are aghast, and many questions how we have enough money for this level of military spending while so many problems go unsolved for everyday Americans.

Skyrocketing health care costs. Student loans. Childcare. Housing. Natural disasters. None of these can seem to find additional funding.

Sen. John McCain applauded the passage of the bill, which he strongly supported. Since mid-July, nearly 100 service members have been killed or injured in close to a dozen mishaps, and McCain argues that the rash of training accidents and crashes are linked to military budget cuts. He and others say keeping our armed forces safe, secure, and well-equipped are worth every dime we spend.

“My friends, more of our men and women in uniform are now being killed in totally avoidable training accidents and routine operations than by our enemies in combat,” McCain said. “Where is the outrage about this? Where is our sense of urgency to deal with this problem?”

But McCain has since scuffled with others, most notably Rand Paul, over defense spending. 

And many remain angry that so much money goes to the military rather than education.

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