WASHINGTON (Dec. 28, 2021) – On Monday, President Joe Biden signed a massive military spending bill into law.
The 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) authorizes $777.7 billion in military spending for this fiscal year. This ranks as the biggest military budget in U.S. history, topping the $740 billion in Trump’s last year in office.
The spending bill includes $740.3 billion for the Pentagon, $27.8 billion for the Energy Department’s nuclear weapons program, and $9.9 billion for “Defense-related Activities Outside NDAA Jurisdiction.”
The U.S. “defense” budget is by far and away the largest in the world. It more than triples China’s military outlays – the second-biggest military spender in the world.
Biden initially requested $753 billion for the 2022 NDAA. Congress added the additional spending. According to Antiwar.com, “”hawkish Republicans” pushed for the added funding, arguing that more money was needed to confront China. This goes to show that despite claiming the mantra of “fiscal responsibility” Republicans are more than happy to borrow and spend for their preferred programs and policies.
Ultimately, the additional spending received bipartisan support and there was very little opposition to the massive spending bill. The Senate passed the NDAA by an 89-10 vote. The House approved the measure 363-70.
A big chunk of the 2022 military budget will be allocated to research and development for new weapons systems (RTD&E). According to Antiwar.com, “The NDAA authorizes over $117 billion for RDT&E, which will be used to develop hypersonic weapons, artificial intelligence, space and cyber capabilities, and other advanced weaponry.”
An amendment from Rep. Ro Khanna (D-CA) would have required the U.S, to end support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. That was stripped from the final bill.
Needless to say, the U.S. doesn’t have $770 billion to spend on militarism — or anything else for that matter. These outlays will require more borrowing and more money printing.
The federal government is already in the midst of a pandemic of spending. The budget shortfall in November was $191.34 billion. That was 31.7 percent higher than the November 2021 deficit.
The Biden administration blew through $473 billion in November alone. That brought total federal spending to just shy of $1 trillion ($922 billion) through just the first two months of fiscal 2022. Spending so far in fiscal 2022 is about 4 percent higher than it was through the same period in fiscal 2021.
Despite the lack of concern in the mainstream, borrowing, spending and debt has consequences. It’s putting a massive drag on the economy. Studies have shown that a debt to GDP ratio of over 90 percent retards economic growth by about 30 percent. The debt-to-GDP ratio currently stands at 127 percent, according to the National Debt Clock. This throws cold water on the conventional “spend now, worry about the debt later” mantra, along with the frequent claim that “we can grow ourselves out of the debt” now popular on both sides of the aisle in D.C.