WASHINGTON — As lawmakers work to approve the Pentagon's colossal multibillion-dollar budget request, a new report shows that defense dollars have a varied impact across the country.
Analysis from the Pew Charitable Trusts shows that in fiscal year 2017 — the most recent year for which data is available — the U.S. government spent a total of $483 billion in defense dollars across the country. On a state-by-state basis, per capita defense spending ranged from $488 in Michigan to $6,275 in Virginia. The District of Columbia was the highest, $9,033.
"The U.S. government spends defense dollars in every state through purchases of military equipment, wages for service members and civilians, pension payments, health care services, and grants to states," the authors of the report wrote. "But the size and mix of those investments vary substantially across the states, so changes in defense spending will affect them differently, and the impacts will depend on which programs and operations are increased or cut."
The following chart shows the distribution of federal defense dollars from fiscal year 2017 in the top 10 and bottom 10 states. Michigan was the lowest in dollar terms, but the lowest as a share of gross state product was New York.
In its fiscal 2020 budget request, the Defense Department is asking Congress for $718 billion, an increase of $33 billion or about 5% over what Congress enacted in year prior.
The budget is composed of a $544.5 billion base budget, $9.2 billion for emergency border funding and $164 billion for overseas contingency operations funding, aka the war budget.
Congress has until Oct. 1 to approve the budget or negotiate a new funding deal with the White House.