April 25, 2018

Episode 15: How Debt Finance Leads to War and Defense Spending



We’re increasing defense spending and launching military strikes—and we’re putting it all on the national credit card. That may be no coincidence. Sarah Kreps finds that Americans are more supportive of wars when they are financed through debt rather than taxes. Across the world, Matt DiGiuseppe finds that a nation’s creditworthiness leads to more military spending, especially in response to threats. Military power and conflict used to be financed by taxes, limiting democracies’ appetites–but now that accountability has been lost.

The Niskanen Center’s Political Research Digest features up-and-coming researchers delivering fresh insights on the big trends driving American politics today. Get beyond punditry to data-driven understanding of today’s Washington with host and political scientist Matt Grossmann. Each 15-minute episode covers two new cutting-edge studies and interviews two researchers.

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