Forbes claim on defense spending is deemed "mostly true" - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Forbes claim on defense spending is deemed "mostly true"

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - It has become a target in the battle over the federal budget and debt. Many are calling for deep cuts to the defense department. Cutting the military can make politicians from Virginia nervous.

Congressman Randy Forbes attempted to make the argument that defense is not the place to cut.

In a recent Politico column, Forbes said the following:

"As a percentage of our gross domestic product, the defense budget remains just 3.6 percent, this figure is low by all historical standards," Forbes said.

Are we historically spending less on defense, at least on a percentage basis?

According to the reporters of Politifact Virginia, that statement is "mostly true." It is difficult to analyze because the value of money is different when comparing year to year.

But if you adjust everything to 2005 levels -- back in 1945 -- defense spending works out to $900 billion. That was its peak and fell after that.   It didn't reach until the $700 billion mark until 2011. It sits at 3.6 percent now. The defense department budget alone is historically low.

But there are more defense related expenses, like the wars in Afghanistan in Iraq, which are budgeted differently, according to Politifact Virginia reporter Warren Fiske.. His numbers work out to be "mostly true", but it may not tell the whole story.

"It doesn't include the cost of our military involvement in Iraq and Afghanistan and when you factor those things in, it comes to about 5 percent, which is still pretty low," Fiske said.

And you can see all the information behind this week's Politifact Virginia report on their web site, www.politifactvirginia.com and you can see all our past reports on my political blog, www.decisionvirginia.com.

Copyright 2011 WWBT NBC12. All rights reserved.

  • Latest news from NBC12.comNEWSMore>>

  • The Latest: Trump to sign 'something' on migrant children

    The Latest: Trump to sign 'something' on migrant children

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 12:01 PM EDT2018-06-20 16:01:56 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 2:13 AM EDT2018-06-23 06:13:41 GMT
    (AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File). FILE - In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of PMQs at parliament in London. The British government is facing anoth...(AP Photo/Kirsty Wigglesworth, File). FILE - In this Wednesday, June 13, 2018 file photo, Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May leaves 10 Downing Street to attend the weekly session of PMQs at parliament in London. The British government is facing anoth...
    British Prime Minister Theresa May says the United States is wrong to separate migrant children from their parents, but has rejected calls to cancel President Donald Trump's visit to Britain next month.More >>
    British Prime Minister Theresa May says the United States is wrong to separate migrant children from their parents, but has rejected calls to cancel President Donald Trump's visit to Britain next month.More >>
  • AP Explains: Where do kids split from parents go?

    AP Explains: Where do kids split from parents go?

    Wednesday, June 20 2018 2:44 PM EDT2018-06-20 18:44:14 GMT
    Saturday, June 23 2018 1:54 AM EDT2018-06-23 05:54:38 GMT
    (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File). FILE - In this June 18, 2014, file photo, two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television from their holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed a...(AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, Pool, File). FILE - In this June 18, 2014, file photo, two young girls watch a World Cup soccer match on a television from their holding area where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed a...
    The government hasn't worked out a streamlined way to reunite kids and parents separated at the border under the new zero-tolerance policy requiring all immigrants who cross the border illegally to be prosecuted.More >>
    The government hasn't worked out a streamlined way to reunite kids and parents separated at the border under the new zero-tolerance policy requiring all immigrants who cross the border illegally to be prosecuted.More >>
  • Work crews respond to Henrico neighborhood after trees left homes condemned

    Work crews respond to Henrico neighborhood after trees left homes condemned

    Friday, June 22 2018 11:17 PM EDT2018-06-23 03:17:59 GMT
    Tree down on North Mapleleaf Avenue (Source: NBC12)Tree down on North Mapleleaf Avenue (Source: NBC12)
    Tree down on North Mapleleaf Avenue (Source: NBC12)Tree down on North Mapleleaf Avenue (Source: NBC12)

    On North Mapleleaf Avenue in Eastern Henrico, homes were damaged and in one case a tree fell on a woman, cracking her skull before she had to be rushed to the hospital.

    More >>

    On North Mapleleaf Avenue in Eastern Henrico, homes were damaged and in one case a tree fell on a woman, cracking her skull before she had to be rushed to the hospital.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly