(I'm neither defending our current involvements nor rate of spending), but when the issue of the defense budget came up vis a vis the FEDERAL budget, I think it's relevant to note that the founders considered national security (not federal welfare programs, education, healthcare, etc.) the FEDERAL government's primary responsibility. I once bought a pie from a company that had on the box a "pie chart" of federal spending, deploring America's misguided priorities that we spent so little on education vs. the military - disingenuous for three reasons: education is a state, not federal, responsibility (technically, federal spending should be "0"); education spending is the total of local, state, and federal spending (most of which is local); except for Switzerland, we pay more per pupil than any other industrialized nation (while at the bottom of the barrel in achievement - spending isn't the issue). Regardless of valid ways to decrease federal spending, I'd expect that national defense would appropriately remain the federal govt's greatest expenditure.
When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
~ John Muir
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