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Robert Hockett

Many thanks for this very timely reminder, Steve, at a time when self-described 'conservatives' claim to be concerned about the size of the federal budget. One other thought, which of course does not in any way undercut the thrust of your point, but might be worth noting in any event: It is widely thought that China vastly under-reports its actual military and related strategic expenditures, and it might be that some degree of anxiety about 'the unknown' in this connection prompts at least some portion of US expenditures. Doubtless a much greater proportion of US military expenditure, however, is prompted by (a) a 'control freak' mentality pursuant to which policy-makers think it their role to social-engineer the domestic environments of other nations, and (b) the absence of much in the way of truly productive, employment-creating domestic investment, with the result that the military and the prisons become our versions of employment and housing programs.

All best,

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