“Other than the inconsequential fact that annual BEA data reflect calendar years rather than fiscal years (when you sum quarterly BEA data to adjust its calendar year totals to FY totals, it doesn’t make any difference), what accounts for the rather huge difference between the defense/GDP ratios in the two series of data? In a $13-$14 trillion economy, one-half to three-quarters of a percentage point amounts to real money.”
I think the point is not how much of economic activity is devoted to national versus social security, the issue should be value not costs.
The Heritage chart is derived from Table 1 of this report:
The CBO report referred to states: “The report expresses the budget figures as a share of gross domestic product (GDP) so that the magnitude of federal receipts and expenditures can be observed in relation to the total economic activity of the nation in any given year and over time.(1)”
What is necessary or sufficient about keeping national security at a set “magnitude” …..”in relation to total economic activity”?
What is important is the value of national defense not the magnitude of the relationship to other programs.
As to a few percent I will note that DoD has never passed a financial audit. We cannot tell what we got for the money or where a lot of it is.