Also, that LA Times editorial on the cost of the Iraq War asks:
…why the U.S. economy, beneficiary since 9/11 of the largest military spending binge in history, now requires $150 billion more in the form of a short-term stimulus package. Why hasn’t the $1 trillion in defense spending, in addition to the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, been sufficient to keep the economic boom going?
Well, for some places it has.
There’s a lot more to the Washington economy than government and defense contractors. It sure doesn’t hurt that they’re here, though. I should rephrase–it doesn’t hurt us that they’re here; draw your own conclusions about the effect of a massive and rich defense industry with a strong interest in maintaining demand for their products on the country and the world as a whole.