Mother Jones claims the US government spends too much on the military:
...And just to keep things in perspective: Even with sequestration and the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, defense spending remains close to its highest level since World War II
writes Dave Gilson, senior editor at Mother Jones. He adds this picture:
The answer is you may never deflate items such as defense spending, welfare spending, research spending, etc., by the Consumer Price Index (CPI). The CPI measures retail consumer price growth (or decline). Defense, however, is no consumer retail item. Neither is NASA, Social Security, Medicare, whatever big budget you mention.
Big items (such as Federal government spending programmes) should always be expressed as a share of GDP when speaking about relative values over time. Now we can see a completely different story:
US Federal Defense Consumption & Investment as a share of GDP (per cent)
You may like the US policy or not, but everybody should handle the data correctly. This is my message, dear Mother Jones.