US expert says elections make defense spending cuts more difficult

Written by: Abdul Nisar
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Washington, Sept 5 (ANI): An expert at UAB's Department of Sociology and Social Work, Casey Borch, has said that elections make defense spending cuts more difficult.

Borch's conclusions are reportedly based on an examination of time-series public and employment datasets covering the military spending of 49 U.S. states from 1964 to 2008. On average, military spending increases about 9 percent in the year prior to the national elections.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert Gates' had recently proposed slashing the military budget by eliminating the Joint Services Command, cutting the number of top-ranking generals and officers and cutting about 10 percent of private contractors from the defense intelligence budget.

"A 10 percent cut on private contracts seems unlikely given the weak economy we are in now. If he does cut, I suspect that they will hire more Department of Defense employees and it really won't be a cut. Military spending is one of the best stimulus packages that the government has, and it has been that way since the 1940s," Borch, said.

"To cut military spending on contracts when we have a relatively weak economy doesn't seem to be a strategy that would be politically or economically useful," he added.

He also said that the reluctance to cut military spending prior to an election year holds true among both Republicans and Democrats alike.

"It's largely because you have people coming up for re-election and politicians want to make sure the economy is as strong as possible. One of the good ways to ensure economic stability is to increase military spending," Borch claimed. (ANI)

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