Pentagon Spends More on War Than All 50 States Combined Spend To Operate

PentagonSherwood Ross writes on the Intelligence Daily:

The U.S. spends more for war annually than all state governments combined spend for the health, education, welfare, and safety of 308 million Americans.

Joseph Henchman, director of state projects for the Tax Foundation of Washington, D.C., says the states collected a total of $781 billion in taxes in 2008.

For a rough comparison, according to Wikipedia data, the total budget for what the Pentagon calls “defense” in fiscal year 2010 will be at least $880 billion and could possibly top $1 trillion. That’s more than all the state governments collect.

Henchman says all American local governments combined (cities, counties, etc.) collect about $500 billion in taxes. Add that to total state tax take and you get over $1.3 trillion. This means Uncle Sam’s Pentagon is sopping up nearly as much money as all state, county, city, and other governmental units spend to run the country.

Read More: Intelligence Daily

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  • James T.

    Ridiculous… As bad as 9/11 was, it killed 1/100,000th of our population, and the Pentagon acts as if Armageddon will begin sometime this week.

    • dogugotw

      OK, so let's get this right.
      The president is the commander in chief. He's the one who says WHAT gets done.
      The legislative branch pays the bills.
      The Pentagon does nothing except execute the will of the executive with funding from the legislative. Civilians are in charge of this thing, not the military.

      • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

        on paper that's how it works….and on paper we live in a democracy.
        but how many military officers become lobbyists and consultants for PMC's and arms companies that drive these wars

        • dogugotw

          You mean those civilian lobbyists? The deal is that the Pentagon, the folks with stars on their shoulders, do NOT decide when to go to war. Some civilian we hired (voted into office) makes that call and then another bunch of civilians we hired (voted into office) allocate the money. If they boys and girls with guns made the actual decisions, we wouldn't have gone into Iraq in the first place and any place we did go into would most likely be turned into scorched earth to ensure victory.

          • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

            if you still think the figure head decides any thing you need to wake up,
            and describing the legislative branch as people “we” hired you are either a fool, or maybe you are a captain of industry, but the american people aren't the ones who do the hiring. winning isn't profitable, selling the means to fight a perpetual low intensity conflict is where the real money is, as well as contracting the vastly overpriced support services. winning isnt the goal of war any more , profit is.

  • Zack

    Not that we don't spend too much money on defense, but the numbers are a little misleading. State and local governments get a significant portion of their budget from the federal government in addition to their own taxes. So state and local governments actually spend more than the figures quoted.

    “This means Uncle Sam’s Pentagon is sopping up nearly as much money as all state, county, city, and other governmental units spend to run the country.”

    This is also misleading because the federal government does a lot of country running too. All in all the defense budget is still ~1/3 of the federal budget.

    That said, the defense budget is hugely swollen.

  • mikey

    “according to Wikipedia data”
    Come on.

  • growup21

    did you really quote wikipedia. thats not an acceptable source for any publication or blog. grow up and get some legitimate facts

  • http://zerowon.blogspot.com/ Bucky

    don't forget how much they spent to take down the twin towers.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/PDDVWRQVUPMKRGHURIEQVNYWHQ Sean

    if you still think the figure head decides any thing you need to wake up,
    and describing the legislative branch as people “we” hired you are either a fool, or maybe you are a captain of industry, but the american people aren’t the ones who do the hiring. winning isn’t profitable, selling the means to fight a perpetual low intensity conflict is where the real money is, as well as contracting the vastly overpriced support services. winning isnt the goal of war any more , profit is.