Wednesday, October 01, 2008

$488 Billion? That'll Do, For Now

Tuesday, President Bush signed into law a giant spending bill that, among other things, appropriated $488 billion for the U.S. Department of Defense for 2009. The defense spending sum fell $4 billion short of the president's budget request but represented a 6% increase over 2008 funding levels.

"Not bad," says Cord Sterling, vice president for legislative affairs with the Aerospace Industries Association (AIA), of the $488 billion. "That's a pretty good amount of money."

But pretty good needs to be a lot better, according to the AIA. The Rosslyn, Va., trade group, with a $10 million budget and 60 staffers, is pushing the industry position that the incoming administration and Congress must set defense spending at a minimum of 4% of gross domestic product, not including supplemental wartime spending bills.

The $488 billion in defense appropriations amounts to just 3.5% of U.S. GDP.

Full story at