Guns or Butter: It's Time to Be Honest about Which Is Driving Federal Debt

Read more on this subject: Government Debt & Financing
News Story Source:, Dustin Siggins
 In October, Senate Democrats—led by insurgent 2016 presidential candidate and possible 2020 presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT)—published a report claimingthat War on Terror spending has been significantly responsible for America's deficits since 9/11. With Democrats now in charge of the House of Representatives, this factually incorrect but popular narrative may impact federal policy.

Democrats do have two points in their favor: America's national defense budget is large, inefficiently spent, and often influenced by corruption. And war-related increases in defense spending have been a significant factor in America's increasing deficits since the turn of the century.

As Institute for Spending Reform President Jonathan Bydlak told me in an e-mail, "the national debt has increased by $15 trillion since 9/11. Pentagon spending contributed to this growth." However, Bydlak also wrote that

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