While all Cold War Republican presidents but Reagan, including the Supreme Allied Commander Dwight Eisenhower who cut defense spending by 28% over his tenure, saw it fit to cut defense spending (and during the Cold War! oh how modern Republicans would wring their hands and scream “DOOM”), Obama’s administration has brought the greatest increase in defense spending in the last 60 years.
Points are: Modern Republicans are caught up on this exception for defense spending, but most of their own predecessors did not see any just cause to exempt defense spending during the Cold War.
Common wisdom is Republicans spend big on military and Democrats want small (not to be misinterpreted as weaker) defense budgets, but this is not so. Republican Cold War presidents did not make this assumption that smaller defense budgets result in weakness.
Does the now powerful, but 60 years ago not so much, military-industrial complex have anything to do with this change in responsiveness of defense budgets? Methinks so, methinks. so. But I can’t prove it, yet.
I’ll leave you with a shot against military contractors. The F-35 Joint Strike Fighter is now 85% over-budget from the original estimate, and 65% over-budget from the last estimate. It’ll now cost $382 billion for a fleet of planes that can’t fight terrorism. Source. I work for an international development contractor, where money is tight. If we were 85% over-budget, we’d go out of business. There aren’t even projects in our field worth $382 million, never mind $382 billion.
American values always win: big, expensive, and unnecessary.