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Two-thirds of Biden’s spending plan is for military and law enforcement
Speaking Security Newsletter | Advisory Note for Activists and Candidates, n°151 | 29 March 2022
Joe Biden’s budget proposal includes a request for $1.6 trillion in discretionary funding in FY2023, and provides estimates for how much mandatory programs will automatically spend next year based on existing law.
From a topline standpoint, the budget request looks like it was written by a Republican: It proposes radically increasing military spending and doesn’t make the necessary investments for social programs. Biden also sounded like a Republican as he was promoting it, particularly when he was highlighting the near-record level of funding it would give the military while praising its impact on the deficit.
Military spending dominates Biden’s FY2023 funding proposal (like it did for his FY2022 budget), but military spending alone doesn’t paint a complete picture of just how much Biden wants to spend on ‘security.’ How the government defines security spending is the same way Biden apparently thinks about security in general (in the narrow, traditional sense that focuses on human or nation-state threats and not on threats like viruses or climate change) and how security is achieved (by throwing money at the institutions that perform security functions based on the same narrow, traditional understanding of security).
Much to the detriment of our (real) security, Biden’s FY2023 budget proposal would invest twice as much in security spending (mostly military- and law enforcement-related programs) than in ‘nonsecurity’ spending (social programs).