Military spending isn’t something that the average Gen Z or Millennial thinks about regularly. But our Millennial Minute guests believe it’s a topic that everyone should follow, as the Department of Defense uses taxpayer dollars. Many people agree that they want to feel safe and protected, so they don’t mind their taxes going toward defense spending. And where Max Burns and Erin Elmore disagree on many political points, they agree that our military should be effective. But they also agree that defense spending should be more transparent.
Burns brought up a situation in 2018 when an accounting firm backed out of a Department of Defense audit because of ample bookkeeping errors and misplaced funds. He said this instance shows us that the government has accounting work to do. Elmore agreed, saying it’s very easy for the government to spend taxpayer money, but it’s difficult to track that money. She believes that the DoD accounting system could be a bipartisan effort that will save extraneous expenses.
On the topic of military spending in general, Burns asserted that military funding is over the top. He believes the U.S. is “caught in Cold War thinking that our military needs to be as big and expensive as possible.” He thinks the country can “run effective combat-ready military without the bloat.” And his ideas aren’t contingent on wartime because he notes there is unaccounted money even when the country isn’t at war.
Elmore believes in a strong military, but she wants more cost-effective spending. If the government works smarter and harder to ensure money isn’t being wasted, that money can go back into salient military projects.
Where do you stand on this topic? Check out the full debate, and let us know in the comments.