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Fact Checking Sullivan

Posted By Conn Carroll On August 14, 2008 @ 4:31 pm In Economics | Comments Disabled

At the tail end of an extremely long diatribe that is completely not worth reading, Andrew Sullivan asserts that America’s “military consumes more and more resources [1].” This is a common trope on the far left and is simply not true. Below is a chart showing national defense spending as a percentage of GDP [2] since 1962. As you can see, at 4 %of GDP, defense spending is 1.5 percentage points of GDP below the 45-year historical average and well below Cold War and Vietnam War levels:
defense-spending2.gif [3]
If Sullivan wants to know why “America’s fiscal standing continues to slide down and down” he should educate himself with this chart on total mandatory spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid (in billions excluding net interest):
mandatory-spending2.gif [4]
UPDATE:
Some in the comments are claiming we are “misleading” by showing one graph in percentage of GDP and another in actual dollars. Well here are three more charts, two showing spending as percentage of GDP and one which compares total spending. All three charts show that entitlement spending, not defense spending, is our financial Achilles heal.

First, Federal Spending for Mandatory and Discretionary Programs, 1965–2008, as Percentage of GDP:
mandatoey-and-discretionary-spending-as-percentage-of-gdp.gif [5]
Second, Spending on Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid as a Percentage of GDP, 2005–2050:
projected-entitlement-spending-through-2050.gif [6]
Finally, Total Discretionary Spending vs. Mandatory Spending, 1965–2007, in Billions:
total-spending.gif [7]


Article printed from The Foundry: Conservative Policy News from The Heritage Foundation: http://blog.heritage.org

URL to article: http://blog.heritage.org/2008/08/14/fact-checking-sullivan/

URLs in this post:

[1] military consumes more and more resources: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2008/08/after-the-cold.html

[2] spending as a percentage of GDP: http://www.heritage.org/federalbudget/budget-create-deficits

[3] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/defense-spending2.gif

[4] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/mandatory-spending2.gif

[5] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/mandatoey-and-discretionary-spending-as-percentage-of-gdp.gif

[6] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/projected-entitlement-spending-through-2050.gif

[7] Image: http://www.foundry.org/wp-content/uploads/2008/08/total-spending.gif

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