It’s been difficult to pay attention to anything but Russia’s invasion of Ukraine over the past month. The war’s ripple effects are unavoidable: unprecedented sanctions, a fractured food supply chain, and spiking oil prices.
The Biden administration’s latest federal budget proposal – released Monday – is no different, calling for one of the biggest investments in military and defense spending in the nation’s history.
Major Investments, General Spending
The White House’s proposed budget is obviously expansive – it sets spending for the entire federal government, after all – and includes everything from investments to combat climate change, increased funding for law enforcement, and initiatives to lower healthcare and childcare expenses. Additionally, it reiterates a proposed billionaire wealth tax and includes measures to tamp down inflation.
But top of line is a proposal to increase military funding by nearly 10%, with Biden in a statement claiming it as “one of the largest investments in our national security in history”:
- The White House is seeking $813 billion for military spending in fiscal year 2023 (which begins in October), a roughly 4% increase, with a focus on developing new weapons systems and refreshing the military’s arsenal of long-range nuclear missiles.
- The proposal earmarks nearly $7 billion specifically for aid to Ukraine and nearby NATO allies. Funding is also directed toward boosting “deterrence” in the Indo-Pacific region, as the White House warns that China is the largest strategic threat facing the nation.
Analysts don’t expect Congress to approve the budget before November’s midterms, according to the Financial Times.
Join the Trend: Pick a random country on a map and chances are it, too, is increasing military spending. Germany is virtually doubling defense spending after years of demilitarization, China is planning to increase spending by $230 billion, and Spain, Romania, and Sweden recently announced significant defense budget bumps as well.
Whiplash: In February, just before the war broke out, the Pentagon warned that consolidation in the defense industry is a threat to national security and called on the Federal Trade Commission to strengthen merger oversight. Since 1990, the number of US defense prime contractors has fallen from 51 to just five.