As NewsBusters readers know, one of my guilty pleasures is pointing out the staggering ignorance of Bill Maher.
The object of my disaffection certainly didn't let me down Friday evening when on HBO's Real Time he actually told Congressman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) that we spend 42 percent of our total budget on defense (video follows with transcript and commentary):
BILL MAHER, HOST: We have tens of thousands of troops in Italy, Germany, Japan, Korea, places where wars have not occurred for decades. And we spend I think something like 42 percent of our total budget on defense, right, and I don’t know if that includes or Homeland Security.
CONGRESSMAN BARNEY FRANK (D-MASSACHUSETTS): Well, it doesn’t include Homeland Security. It includes the nukes. They’re in the other budget.
Funny that Frank didn't bother correcting his host, for the correct figure for fiscal 2013 is 18.5 percent:
As such, Maher was only wrong by 127 percent!
Of course, what liberals like Maher and Frank choose to ignore is that defense is actually a relatively small component of our budget compared to "Human Resources" items such as Social Security, Welfare, Medicaid, and Medicare which comprise 67 percent of our total outlays.
Also of note, today's 18.5 percent is the lowest since fiscal 2002 which was created before 9/11.
In fact, since World War II, the only fiscal years we spent less on defense as a percentage of our total budget was 1995 through 2002 while we were enjoying what was known as the post-Cold War "Peace Dividend."
How did THAT work out for us?