The Political Economy of Military Spending in the United States

By Alex Mintz | Go to book overview

NOTES
1
The 25,000 figure is from the US Congressional Budget Office (1983). The larger figure is from Oginibene (1975).
2
During the 1976 presidential campaign, both Gerald Ford and Jimmy Carter took pro-B-1 positions in front of various groups involved in B-1 bomber production, even though Carter was actually opposed to the plane (Kotz 1988:156-7).
3
Gansler (1989:115). Gansler also notes that, in fiscal year 1983, Congress failed to approve 6 of the 11 categories of defense spending ‘by the end of the fiscal year’ (p. 115, emphasis in original).
4
Rovner (1983) provides a concise summary of the budget process.
5
This figure applies to shipbuilding accounts, which constitute a significant part of the budget—$10.8 billion in 1986 and $10.2 billion in 1987 (US Department of Defense 1987a).
6
‘When funds are made available for a specified period of time (either for one year or a multiple of years), any funds not obligated by that time will lapse’ (Fisher 1975:130).
7
Identifying the endpoints of the Korean war was simple: the North Koreans invaded in June 1950, and the armistice was signed in July 1953. Doing the same for the Vietnam war is much more difficult, since US involvement grew slowly, and wound down gradually prior to complete disengagement in 1974. However, analysis of overall funding levels for the war effort shows that, as far as prime contracts go, the first jump occurred in 1965, when US ground forces were introduced. Funding dropped after 1971 as part of the ‘Vietnamization’ of the war. The variable ‘war’ takes the value 1 starting in February 1965, and reverts to 0 after June 1971. This identification process is somewhat arbitrary, but the model specification is surprisingly insensitive to war specification; several different endpoints were used, with no appreciable changes in the overall estimates. More detail can be found in Mayer (1988:300-6).
8
This variable is calculated as the difference between total DoD obligations and DoD contract awards. Because of some retroactive adjustments made to the prime contract series during the Korean war, total obligations are recorded as less than contract awards. Thus, it is necessary to begin the analysis in January 1955, to avoid this error in both the current and lagged independent variables.
9
The coefficient for September/October of election years is 1742.3, which means that an additional $1.74 billion is awarded in each of the two months, for an overall acceleration of $3.48 billion.
10
There is approximately a 1 in 5 probability that no non-election year acceleration actually occurs.
11
Seasonal adjustment eliminates periodic fluctuations that may obscure other more interesting patterns (even election-year accelerations are removed, since they occur at regular two-year intervals). Quarterly contract figures make visual inspection easier.

REFERENCES

a
Anagnoson, J.T. 1982. Federal grant agencies and congressional election campaigns. American Journal of Political Science 26 (3).

f
Fisher, L. 1975. Presidential Spending Power. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.

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