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The Economics of Federal Defense Policy - Political Science
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Three out of four Americans polled in the 1992 election year believed that the United States was heading in the wrong direction. With such an overwhelming consensus, the country hired a new president to attempt to fix the vital issues at hand. Although both Republicans and Democrats believed that the United States was still the "sole superpower", the people of the United States saw that their quality of life was deteriorating. In fact, the signs of economic, social, and political decay were undeniable.

For example, the wages of production workers in America have declined twenty percent in the last twenty years due to large corporations shifting their operations overseas. Over thirty-seven million Americans are without health insurance due to its exploding costs. There are about sixty million people below the poverty line; fourteen million of which are children. Our crime rate is at an all-time high as well as the population in our prison system. The United States has nineteen preceding nations that have lower infant mortality rates. Among the twenty most developed countries in the world, the United States has the highest divorce rate and the highest teen pregnancy rate. The most incredulous fact of all is that the Pentagon continues to absorb twenty percent of the federal budget-over a third of which is spent protecting Europe against an enemy that no longer exists.

In fact, that is the most probable source of America\'s problems: the budget. Forty-seven percent of the national federal budget is spent for a military expense. The National Defense, the topic of this paper, is what is stealing money from the poor in our own country and lessening our status as the "sole superpower" of the world.

The National Defense was a program initiated from day one of the United States\' existence. It was a program designed to protect the people of the world, but primarily the people of this nation. It was designed to protect human rights and the ideals of democracy and capitalism. However, in lieu of recent events, the use for such a program is now debatable. The world has changed significantly and dramatically within the last five years. The threat of an evil empire such as the Soviet Union is no longer; the Cold War is over.

Ultimately, demilitarization is needed for many reasons. Both Democrats and Republicans alike supported the development of a gigantic-industrial complex. Both are content with only minor budget reductions. However, more drastic measures should be taken in order to move this country into the twenty-first century successfully. Military spending should be slashed, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) should be dismantled, and the other vestiges of the Cold War should be removed.

(A)

This graph displays the United States\' military spending compared to that of its Top Ten contenders. It shows how overwhelming and exacerbated the United States\' spending really is. Russia and the United Kingdom spend about two hundred fifty billion dollars less than the United States. In fact, there is a twenty-five billion dollar difference between the United States and all the other nations combined.

This next graph again shows the outrageous spending habits of the United States and its Department of Defense. This graph displays the United States compared to its potential enemies or adversaries. The differences are astronomical. Russia, the only country that comes close to comparison, is still a mere two hundred billion dollars behind.

(B)

The threat of the Cold War is extinct. For over forty years, the military budget has been driven by the Soviet threat. Over half the budget was devoted to defeating a sudden attack by the Warsaw Pact nations on Germany. Now, the ex-Soviets want to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In the words of General Colin Powell," The Red Army is no more." (1) In fact, the economy in the post-Soviet nations is so terrible that the soldiers are selling their weapons for food. Malnutrition is incredibly prevalent. According to the CIA and the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), if Russia was to be taken over by a dictator, it would take ten years for them to reconstitute a military threat to the west.

The facts are clear. The United States is surrounded by friendly nations on either side as well as