The cost of everything is rising in the US, inflation is at a 40-year high, and now the price of national defense could be on its way to a new record: the Biden administration is reportedly targeting the highest Pentagon budget in of history for the next fiscal year.
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Sources told Reuters that President Biden is expected to ask Congress for a defense budget base in excess of $770 billion in the coming months, with add-ons potentially taking it to over $800 billion for the fiscal year beginning Oct. 1 will bring in 2023.
In comparison, President Trump requested $752.9 billion in defense spending in his final year in office, which Congress increased by $25 billion to $778 billion for this fiscal year.
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According to the outlet, the Pentagon intends to use the additional 2023 funding to modernize the military, with “principal spending” focused on salaries, tanks, and other priorities like shipbuilding and jets.
The sources also said that the White House and Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin were “more or less on an equal footing” with the amount requested and that the budget would “benefit the largest US defense contractors, including Lockheed, Northrup Grumman Corp and General Dynamics Corp.” .
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The FY2022 defense budget of $778 billion accounts for about 3.7% of US gross domestic product and 39% of total military spending worldwide.
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute, China is the second-highest defense spender at 13%, with spending estimated at $252 billion, about 1.7% of GDP.