A review of the debate concerning the Reagan administration's increase in defense spending
Couch, Howard W. Jr.
McCaffrey, Jerry L.
Melchar, D. E.
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The overall purpose of this thesis is to examine the debate concerning the consequences of President Reagan's defense building program on the U.S. economy and its relationship to the Federal debt. The research methodology employed consists of performing a comprehensive examination of the literature compared with available economic data for the period under study. The effects of the rapid buildup on the issues of inflation, employment, long run growth and the growing Federal debt are examined. The study includes a discussion of the present budget balancing efforts requiring a "fair share" of the reduction in defense spending to assist in reducing the Federal debt. The study's main conclusions are that the increased defense expenditures did not burden the economy as predicted by many defense analysts. Additionally, budgetary outlay composition data show that the current Federal debt is primarily a result of the growth in uncontrollable spending for social programs and not the recent increase in expenditures for national defense.
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