From Matt Yglesias, commenting on the fantastic amount of money we spend on the Pentagon:
It seems to me that if you told the man on the street that you had a plan to spend double on defense what China, Russia, North Korea, and Iran spend combined that said man would assume you were proposing to spend a healthy amount of funds on national defense. Such a standard would, however, imply very large cuts.
If you want to project power over thousands of miles, it costs a lot of money. Most countries don’t really want to do this. We, on the other hand, are pretty seriously addicted to it.