How much is too much money on the military?

As America goes more and more into economic turmoil, experts continue to search for solutions. With the US embarking on a handful of military operations at once, is cutting defense spending the answer to the country’s financial woes?

Military spending, says James Carafano of the Heritage Foundation, is “certainly not the cause of our fiscal problem.” Carafano argues that with the US’ economy as big as it is—the largest in the world—defense spending is in no way contributing to what some experts predict will snowball into the next Great Depression. “We spend more than most people on everything,” he says. He argues that spending money on defense at the amount we do now shouldn’t surprise anyone. “We spend more on pizza, we spend more on movies!” says Carafano.

America has “global responsibilities,” he adds, and spending on the military is a necessity for the country. “NobodyHo is saying we should spend money on defense because it’s fun.”

Carafano argues that defense spending today makes up just a small section of the budget, and that the solution comes elsewhere. “Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid are the big fiscal issues that need to be tackled, not defense,” he says.

The center for American Progress’ Lawrence Korb, however, thinks spending should go elsewhere. The American education system is falling behind that of other nations, he says, and the condition of US roadways is horrendous.

“Have you driven on our roads lately?” asks Korb.

Korb says that the indirect cost of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars alone will be in the trillions, and as the opening of new fronts is on the horizon, the total cost could reach astronomical proportions. Carafano argues, however, that The Pentagon can’t have the mindset that they only need enough defense for what they think will get the job done. Carafano says that’s okay, “if you have enemies that will always cooperate.”

To Carafano, that notion is the same as him saying, “I want health insurance only for the diseases that I’m going to get.”