Defense spending in one chart/table

Excellent chart/table combo — I mean, seriously, how often do you get that? — from the Center for American Progress looking at defense spending across administrations. All numbers are adjusted for inflation, so the Obama administration’s huge defense budgets aren’t just a trick of the numbers:


As CAP goes on to note, if Obama cuts that spending dramatically, he’ll be fitting into a proud and bipartisan tradition of drawing down defense spending after a long period of war. “To keep a balanced budget, President Dwight Eisenhower, a five-star Army general and lifelong Republican, slashed defense spending by 27 percent after the armistice ended the Korean War. Richard Nixon, also a Republican and Eisenhower’s vice president, cut the budget by 29 percent as he withdrew from Vietnam. Between 1987 and 1998 the defense budget fell for 11 straight years as Presidents Reagan, Bush, and Clinton — two Republicans and a Democrat — brought spending down to more sustainable levels as the Cold War wound down.”

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