Accession Number:

ADA574433

Title:

Blood and Treasure: The U.S. Debt and Its Implications for National Defense and Security

Descriptive Note:

Master's thesis

Corporate Author:

NAVAL POSTGRADUATE SCHOOL MONTEREY CA DEPT OF NATIONAL SECURITY AFFAIRS

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2012-12-01

Pagination or Media Count:

89.0

Abstract:

Is the current budget and debt of the United States a concern to its national defense Does debt held by foreign nations, particularly China, give them soft power over the United States The current national deficit is more than 1.3 trillion dollars and the national public debt is just over 16 trillion. Congress and the greater civilian population are calling for dramatic cuts to the Department of Defense DoD to balance the budget, but the issue is more complicated than that. The DoD budget accounts for only 3.7 percent of the FY2012 budget. Reducing the DoD budget will reduce capabilities within the military, but it will only reduce the deficit by a mere 50 billion a year, less than 5 percent of the overall deficit. By law, the government must fund such entitlements as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid, which total almost 2.2 trillion per year. The governments receipts amount to 2.5 trillion per year, leaving only 300 billion for discretionary spending. This sum is inadequate to meet the demands that are being placed upon it. For example, DoD alone has an annual base budget of just more than 700 billion. In other words, the national budget cannot balance without changes in law that would reduce outlays for entitlements. Entitlements account for 10 percent of the current federal budget and are expected to engulf the entire federal budget within the next 40 years. Only if Congress changes the laws with regard to entitlements -- and not simply the DoD budget -- will the federal deficit ever disappear. This study will examine the U.S. national debt and how that debt influences the power of the U.S. military, U.S.-China relations, and the nations ability to protect itself financially.

Subject Categories:

  • Administration and Management
  • Economics and Cost Analysis
  • Government and Political Science

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE