In the era of COVID-19, increased spending across the board seems to be the norm. But why? Bipartisan support for federal relief has also led to more funding for numerous, unrelated policy priorities. Among the beneficiaries is the Pentagon, a department so large that its budget would rank as the 19th largest country in the world. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have increased the Pentagon’s budget for years, with the stated goal of defending against potential national security threats. However, the rise of the novel coronavirus begs the question: have the enormous commitments of taxpayer dollars to the Pentagon made us safer?

Join Jonathan Bydlak, Director of R Street’s Fiscal and Budget Policy Project, as he discusses this topic with Andrew Lautz, Policy and Government Affairs Manager at the National Taxpayers Union, Mandy Smithberger, Director of the Center for Defense Information at the Project on Government Oversight and Wendy Jordan, Senior Policy Analyst at Taxpayers for Common Sense.