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September 26, 2008

McCain's defense budget proposal does not add up
Posted by Max Bergmann

McCain talks a lot about out of control spending but his defense spending proposals would blow the budget. McCain has made grandiose promises on defense that are not grounded in reality and represent the exact opposite of the fiscal reform that he will supposedly bring to the White House.

John McCain has pledged to expand the ground forces by about 200,000 over current levels. He also says he will modernize the armed forces by “procuring advanced weapons systems.” Yet at the same time, McCain has pledged to control defense spending. This doesn’t add up. The CBO estimates that increasing the ground forces to the current goal of about 750,000 will cost about $110 billion over seven years; this is roughly $15 billion per year. Using the same projections, increasing the size of the ground forces by an additional 150,000 over this same period would cost an additional $175 billion or $25 billion per year. The costs would likely be much higher as McCain is proposing a 25 percent increase in the size of the ground forces and attracting that many volunteers will require significant funding.


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