Defense spending is a huge chunk of the U.S. budget.
Among US states, there are winners and losers when it comes to defense spending.
A new study shows the Defense Department spent billions in states like Virginia, California, Texas and the Carolinas-boosting business and the local economy, but states like West Virginia didn’t get the same benefits.
Patrick O’Brien from the Defense Department Office of Economic Adjustment says in 2017, the Pentagon pumped more than $407 billion into local communities by supporting military bases.
California topped the list at $49 billion. Followed by Virginia that received $46 billion in defense spending.
Much of that spending went toward military contracts and payroll it also came down to location.
“If you have a boatyard or a shipyard, submarine facility or a different type of manufacturing facility. Those facilities are experiencing growth right now,” said O’Brien.
O’Brien says states that received smaller amounts of defense money can still benefit from the report.
He says the data can be used to increase workforce training and business development.
Molly Reynolds with the Brookings Institute calls federal lawmakers key players in the defense spending game.
“Members of Congress who represent areas that are very reliant on defense spending do tend to care more about the defense budget,” said Reynolds.
Officials say lawmakers can strengthen both the military and local economies by investing in cybersecurity and other aspects of defense.