Spending habits

The defense budget
The U.S defense budget, always outsized, has become even more bloated in recent years. In the past eight years military spending has nearly doubled, with much of the increase devoted to financing the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. A year ago Joseph Stiglitz of Columbia University and Linda Bilmes of Harvard predicted that the Iraq war could cost the U.S. $3 trillion. Well before the current economic crisis arose, they warned that this expenditure was weakening the U.S. economy: “You can’t spend $3 trillion . . . on a failed war abroad and not feel the pain at home.”


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