The Economic Effects of Military Spending

Policy Forum
October 12, 2012 12:00PM
Hayek Auditorium
Featuring Benjamin Zycher, Senior Fellow, Pacific Research Institute; Stephen S. Fuller, Dwight Schar Faculty Chair and University Professor, Director, Center for Regional Analysis, George Mason University; and Stephen Moore, Editorial Board Member, Senior Economics Writer, Wall Street Journal; moderated by Christopher Preble, Vice President, Defense and Foreign Policy Studies, Cato Institute.
The Budget Control Act passed by Congress directs that on January 2, 2013, the Obama administration must cut the defense budget by at least $55 billion, and the same amount from domestic discretionary spending. The prospect of such reductions has led to assertions that they will damage the economy and increase unemployment. Meanwhile, many who view excessive government spending as economically counterproductive nevertheless oppose Pentagon cuts, partly in the belief that military spending is good for the economy and an important source of jobs. Others, however, claim that limiting Pentagon spending would make resources available for more productive uses in the private sector and lower the burden on the taxpayer. Is military spending different from other forms of government expenditures? Could the impending, mandatory cuts actually benefit the economy? Please join us for a spirited debate that will provide some much-needed perspective on the economic effects of military spending.