Wherever the military industrial complex resides it co-opts those around it in many ways. This release is mainly an analysis of the Fiscal Year 2015 Defense Spending by State published by the US Department of Defense compared with my own prior analyses of related matters.
Military Concentrations in America
Military concentrations by state always start out with the big four, Virginia, Hawaii, Alaska and the District of Columbia. Then the rest of the top ten are usually Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Connecticut, Alabama and Arizona. I have looked at 1980, 1984, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1999, 2003, 2007, 2010 and 2015 over the years. In 2015 these are all in the top 14, with Kentucky, Maine, and Rhode Island, rising to this top level. Among the big eight population states, California, Texas, and Florida have consistently been in the high military category, while New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Michigan have been consistently low military, a clear South versus North split. Indeed, the nation as a whole tends to follow this North versus South split, with few and rare exceptions, except the coastal corners, Washington and New England. In 1991 dividing the nation into 28 North states and 22 South states, the South had twice the military spending level of the North. In 2015 the 22 high military spending states had half the US population comparable to the 28 low military spending states. But the military spending was clearly split 70% in the high states to 30% in the low states. The lowest military spending region is clearly the Great Lakes states including New York, Pennsylvania, and Iowa. Other than the Eastern two, these are commonly called the industrial Midwest states. This is a common pattern among all the states, where the military is high, the manufacturing is low and vice versa. This is also the common pattern when the military budget is changing, the high military buildup states’ economies move in the opposite direction of the low military high manufacturing states. This pattern is well understood in military states but rarely understood in manufacturing states. Manufacturing state economic volatility is greater than military states.
Most Militarized States in America
The 2015 report shows three clear high military spending counties in America. Fairfax in Northern Virginia where the CIA and Pentagon are nearby, San Diego California where the Pacific fleet is based, and Tarrant County Texas where the F-35 aircraft is manufactured by number one defense contractor Lockheed Martin in the Fort Worth western suburb of Dallas. Fort Worth is located in Texas Congressional District 12 of the chair of the House Defense Appropriations subcommittee, while Texas District 13 adjacent to 12 has the chair of the House Armed Services Committee. Former President Bush awarded the F-35 contract to his home state, a very common political practice. But while the $15.3 Billion for San Diego, and the $13.6 Billion for Forth Worth’s County look very impressive, the Fairfax Virginia total of $17.0 Billion is just a part of the $25.7 Billion including adjacent Virginia Counties, and the $44.1 Billion in the DC metro area including ten entities in DC, Maryland, and Virginia. No wonder the nation’s capital has seven of the nation’s richest counties located there, with various studies showing one third higher pay for military contractors: white collar, blue collar, and engineers, compared to other manufacturing. Other studies show defense consultants making multiples of medical doctor pay.
States Ranked by Large Military Complex
- Virginia (per capita #1) has the largest cluster with $25.7 billion in Northern Virginia with the CIA and Pentagon. It also has the second largest with $16.8 billion in Southern Virginia.for the Atlantic fleet. Virginia has three members sitting on the four key military committees, including the former vice presidential candidate Senator Kaine (D-VA). Senator Warner (D-VA) is ranking member on Intelligence, a key committee looking into the Russian election tampering.
- California (per capita #23) has the third largest cluster with $15.3 billion in the San Diego base of Pacific fleet. The Los Angeles metro cluster is $14.7 billion including the site of the San Bernadino terrorist attack and Santa Clara Sacramento worth $11.3 billion includes Silicon Valley. California has 10 members on the key four committees lead by Senator Feinstein (D-CA) on Defense Appropriations while Senator Boxer has just retired from Armed Services.
- Texas (per capita #20) has that famous Fort Worth aircraft factory $13.6 billion ($12.6 billion Lockheed Martin) that Kennedy was on the way to when he died. Johnson had the F-111 rebid twice before taking the bid from Boeing. House Speaker Wright came from that district when the Cold War ended. Texas has both House chairs of the four key military committees and eight members all told including Senator Cruz (R-TX) on Armed Services.
- Maryland (per capita #5) has $11.2 billion in four counties in the DC area, Lockheed Martin has $1.5 billion and John Hopkins University (foreign policy) has $0.7 billion, two House members on key military committees. Senator Ben Cardin (D-MD) ranking Foreign Relations.
- Missouri (per capita #10) has $7.6 billion in St. Louis, Boeing $6.4 billion, where the F-15 was built. Dick Gephart represented that district when he ran for president in1988 and won the Iowa Caucus. Back then St. Louis was the top military spending per capita large metro area in America. Republican House members Hartzler and Graves are on Armed Services, Senator McCaskill (D-MO) on Armed Services, and Senator Blount (R-MO) on Defense Appropriations.
- District of Columbia (per capita #6 if it were a state) has $7.2 billion. No Senators or voting congressperson, no statehood, Georgetown University #1 for CIA internships.
- Alabama (per capita #4) has Madison County with Huntsville Space Center $7.1 billion. Alabama has seven members on the four key committees, including a Senator on each key committee. Senator Shelby (R-AL) Defense Appropriations is also the chair of the all powerful Senate Rules Committee.
- Hawaii (per capita #2) has $6.8 billion spent in Honolulu. Four members serve on the key committees including a Senator on each one. Courageous Senator Hirono (D-HI) voted on the key Health Care bill even though she has stage four kidney cancer.
- Massachusetts (per capita #17) Middlesex County has $6.1 billion (Raytheon $3.9 billion, MIT $1.6 billion). Senator Warren and Congresspersons Tsongas (D-MA) and Moulton all sit on Armed Services. Warren (D-MA) and Moulton (D-MA) have presidential ambitions.
- Pennsylvania (per capita #27) Philadelphia Counties $6.0 billion, two House Armed Services.
- Connecticut (per capita #9) has $5.6 billion for United Technologies in Fairfield and Hartford. Senator Blumenthal (D-CT) and Congressperson Courtney sit on Armed Services.
- Ohio (per capita #35) belt of Southwest Counties $5.5 billion, Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) ranking member on Banking, four House members, two each, on key military committees.
- Arizona (per capita #12) Puma County has $4.9 billion with Raytheon $4.2 billion of that. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) is chair of Armed Services with four House members on Armed Services.
- Washington (per capita #14) King County $4.7 billion (Boeing $4.1 billion) has Senator Patty Murray (D-WA) former Budget chair sitting on Defense Appropriations with two House members on Armed Services. Research for drones is done principally in Washington.
- North Carolina (per capita #26) Cumberland County area (Fayetteville, Fort Bragg) $4.6 billion, Senator Tillis (R-NC) Armed Services Committee, Jones (R-NC) on House Armed Services.
- Colorado (per capita #15) has $4.3 billion spent in El Paso County, home of the Air Force Academy. Only two House members (R-CO) on Armed Services.
- Kentucky (per capita #8) has $4.2 billion in Jefferson County (Louisville) where Humana has $3.8 billion. Senate Majority Leader McConnell (R-KY) on Defense Appropriations with Rogers on House Defense Appropriations. No wonder Leader cares so much about Health Care.
- Florida (per capita #24), Orange County (Orlando) $3.9 billion, Lockheed Martin $2.5 billion, Senator Nelson (D-FL) sits on Armed Services and is ranking member on Science (Space), one House Defense Appropriations, and two House Armed Services.
- Illinois (per capita #42) Cook Lake DuPage $3.7 billion, Senator Dick Durbin ranking member Armed Services only military committee.
- Georgia (per capita #19), Cobb Fulton Counties (Marietta, Atlanta suburb, Kennesaw State) $3.4 billion, Lockheed Martin $2.6 billion, long gone are the Senator Nunn days for Georgia, today only three people sit on the four key military committees. Senator Perdue (R-GA) sits on Armed Services, House has Graves on Defense Appropriation and Scott on Armed Services.
- Minnesota (per capita #32), Hennepin County area (Minneapolis) $4.0 billion, United Health Group $2.8 billion, McCollum (D-MN) on House Defense Appropriations, only military.
- New Jersey (per capita #36), Burlington County area $3.0 billion, $1.6 billion Lockheed Martin, Lobiando (R-NJ) Norcross (D-NJ) both on House Armed Services.
- New York (per capita #49), Long Island Counties $2.9 billion, Senator Gillibrand (D-NY) and two House members all three on Armed Services.
- Oklahoma (per capita #18), $2.7 billion in Oklahoma County area, Senator Inhofe (R-OK) sits on Armed Services, with three in the House: Cole on Defense Appropriations; Bridenstine and Russell on Armed Services.
- Mississippi (per capita #6), Jackson County (Pascagoula) $2.5 billion, HuntingtonIngalls $2.0 billion, Senator Cockran (R-MS) chairs Defense Appropriations, Senator Wicker (R-MS) on Armed Services, and House Kelly (R-MS) sits on Armed Services.
- Utah (per capita #22), Salt Lake area $2.2 billion, Bishop (R-UT) House Armed Services.
- Alaska (per capita #3) Anchorage Borough $2.0 billion, Senator Murkowski (R-AK) on Appropriations and Senator Sullivan (R-AK) on Armed Services, none on House Committees.
- Rhode Island (per capita #11), Five Counties $1.9 billion, Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) is the ranking member of Armed Services and also on Senate Defense Appropriations combines with the state’s only congressperson Langevin (D-RI) on House Armed Services.
- Michigan (per capita #48), Detroit Counties $1.8 billion, Senator Peters (D-MI) Armed Services.
- New Mexico (per capita #13), Bernalillo County (Albuquerque) $1.7 billion, Senators Udall (D-NM) Defense Appropriations, Senator Heinrich (D-NM) Armed Services (Emerging Threats ranking member), none from House.
- Louisiana (per capita #29), Orleans Parish area $1.7 billion, Abraham (R-LA) House Armed Services
- South Carolina (per capita #16), Charleston County $1.6 billion, Senator Graham on both Armed Services and Defense Appropriations, Wilson on House Armed Services.
- Indiana (per capita #33), Marion County $1.4 billion, Senator Donnelly (R-IN) & House Banks (R-IN) Armed Services, Visclosky (D-IN) ranking member House Defense Appropriations.
- Nebraska (per capita #31), Omaha area $1.3 billion, Fisher (R-NE) and Sasse (R-NE) on Senate Armed Services, Bacon (R-NE) House Armed Services.
- New Hampshire (per capita #25), Hillsborough Rockingham $1.3 billion, Senator Shaheen (D-NH) Armed Services, House Shea-Porter Armed Services.
- Nevada (per capita #28), Clark County $1.2 billion, Rosen (D-NV) House Armed Services.
- Kansas (per capita #21), Sedgwick (Wichita) $1.1 billion, Geary (Fort Riley) $1.1 billion, Boeing $0.3 billion, Raytheon $0.2 billion, Senator Moran (R-KS) Defense Appropriations.
- Maine (per capita #7), Sagadahoc County $1.1 billion, General Dynamics $1.1 billion, Senators Collins (R-ME) on Defense Appropriations and King (I-ME) on Armed Services, no House.
- Wisconsin (per capita #45), Winnebago County $1 billion, Oshkosh Truck $1 billion, Senator Baldwin (D-WI) on Defense Appropriations, Gallagher (R-WI) on House Armed Services.
- Arkansas (per capita #34), Pulaski County area $0.8 billion, Senator Cotton (R-AR) Armed Services, Womack (R-AR) House Defense Appropriations.
- Iowa (per capita #44), Linn County (Cedar Rapids) $0.8 billion, Senator Ernst (R-IA) chairs the Armed Services subcommittee on Threats.
- Oregon (per capita #50), Portland area $0.8 billion, Nobody on military committees.
- Tennessee (per capita #46), Coffee area $0.7 billion, Senator Alexander (R-TN) and Two Members on House Armed Services.
- North Dakota (per capita #30), Ward County $0.4 billion, Nobody on key military committees.
- Delaware (per capita #38), Kent County $0.4 billion, Nobody on key military committees
- Idaho (per capita #41), Elmore County area $0.4 billion, Nobody on key military committees.
- Montana (per capita #37), Cascade County $0.3 billion, Daines (R-MT) Tester (D-MT) Senate Defense Appropriations.
- South Dakota (per capita #39), Pennington County area $0.3 billion, Senator Rounds (R-SD) on Armed Services
- Wyoming (per capita #43), Laramie $0.3 billion, Cheney (R-WY) House Armed Services
- Vermont (per capita #40), Chittenden County area $0.2 billion, Senator Leahy (D-VT) Defense Appropriations
- West Virginia (per capita #47), Kanawha County $0.2 billion, Nobody on military committees
High military states lead 80 to 42 in holding key military committee assignments and have about the same share of military spending. Many large Northern states have little or no representation on the key military committees, thinking the defense budget doesn’t affect their state. Nothing could be further from the truth as huge amounts of research and capital are drained from manufacturing in the low military states during military buildups. Likewise, upper Midwest industrial states prosper greatly when the military is lowered. But this is the best kept secret around, as few peace studies programs study regional economics. The low military half of America lost three times as many jobs as the high military states in the two years after 9-11-01. Construction was twice as strong in the industrial Midwest states three years after the Cold War ended in 1994. The “Hole in the Donut” nature of military spending is essential to understand how the military economy can boost some local economies while depleting other (mainly inland) regions, depleting all other manufacturing, and slowing the national economy. Here is the link to that story:
Dr. Peace, Professor Robert Reuschlein, Real Economy Institute