Defense spending: Some states are winners, other aren’t


Defense spending is a huge chunk of the United States’ budget and a big boost to many states.         

But, News13 Washington Correspondent Brie Jackson reported that while some states, including the Carolinas, got a boost, some others see little to nothing.

From building military supplies to housing service members, the report shows how defense dollars are spent.

For some families, military jobs can be as reliable as a family business.

“Dad worked at a base or a plant, and you hope your kids can work at that base,” said Patrick O’Brien, with the DOD Office of Economic Adjustment.

O’Brien said in 2017, the Pentagon pumped more than $407 billion into local communities by supporting military bases.

California topped the list at $49 billon, followed by Virginia, which received $46 billion in defense spending.

Much of that spending went toward military contracts and payroll. 

O’Brien also said it came down to location.

“If you have a boat yard or a ship yard, or you have a different type of manufacturing facility. Those facilities are experiencing growth right now,” said O’Brien.

O’Brien also said states that received smaller amounts of defense money can still benefit from the report. The data can be used to increase workforce training and business development.

Molly Reynolds, with the Brookings Institute, called federal lawmakers “key players” in the defense spending game.

“Members of congress who represent areas that are very reliant on defense spending do tend to care more about the defense budget,” said Reynolds.

Officials said lawmakers can strengthen both the military and local economies by investing in cybersecurity and other aspects of defense.

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