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Limbaugh Falsely Claims Feds Spend As Much on Environment as on Defense and Homeland Security

Wednesday, May 4, 2005
In his April 22 broadcast, conservative pundit Rush Limbaugh claimed that the federal government spends as much on environmental protections as it does on defense and homeland security. Said Limbaugh: “We’re spending as much on environmental protections as we are on defense and homeland security. And, yet when there’s a crisis of deficits, do you ever hear anybody say, ‘We need to reduce our expenditures on the environment?’ No, they always focus on the military.”

Limbaugh was reading from an Investors Business Daily article but twisted the facts. The article compared federal spending on defense and homeland security to total spending on the environment, which includes state and local governments and the private sector — which Limbaugh conveniently forgot to mention.

In fact, the federal government actually spends at least 14 times as much on homeland security and defense than it does on the environment, according to the Office of Management and Budget.

Given the degree to which our thirst for oil drives our foreign policy, we could find that by spending more on the environment – especially the development of clean, renewable energy – we wouldn’t need to spend so much on the military.

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