How much does the US spend on security each year? Taking everything into account, and including the Pentagon military base budget and overseas contingency operations (foreign wars), intelligence, Department of State, past wars that have to be paid off, etc, the total comes out to $1.2 trillion, according to Chris Hellman, of the National Priorities Project.
That’s a good base number to keep in mind during talk of sequestration (obligatory spending cuts if no budgets are agreed to).
How does this affect spending on military/intelligence contractors? The pattern is clear: since 2006 contractors have shrunk the number of people they employ (jobs they provide) while at the same time increasing the amount of federal contracting dollars they take in.
As David Swanson puts it, “the logic of bigger contracts = more jobs is essentially a bucket of hope and change.”
What remains to be seen is if smaller contracts = fewer jobs. But here’s two indications it won’t necessarily be so simple.