Trump Seeks Increased Funding for War While Defunding Schools and Social Spending
During a dinner with US Governors at the White House, President Trump outlined his spending priorities
MODERATOR: The President of the United States. (applause)
KIM BROWN: On Monday, Donald Trump told the National Governors’ Association meeting about his plans for a massive increase in military spending. Trump ran on a fiscally conservative platform, promising to repeal Obamacare, and defund the EPA.
At the same time, his other main platform was security, which is expensive, and it does not appear to go hand-in-hand with his call to drain the swamp.
DONALD TRUMP: My first budget will be submitted to the Congress next month, and it will include a historic increase in defense spending, to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America, at a time we most need it.
KIM BROWN: Defense spending in the most recent fiscal year was $584 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office. So, Trump’s plan to a $54 billion increase would be a rise of 9.2%. The United States already has the world’s most powerful fighting force, and it spends far more than any other country on defense, including the combined spending of the UK, France, China, India, Russia, Japan and Saudi Arabia.
Although it’s Special Forces and Air Force are active against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, such a military spending hike would be unusual, given that the United States is not leading, or engaged in a major ground war, or facing an imminent military attack. An official familiar with the proposal said that Trump’s request for the Pentagon, included more money for ship building, military aircraft. And sending forces into the Strait of Hormuz, in the South China Sea, which could put Washington at increasing odds with Iran and China.
Trump has previously said that he would expand the Army to 540,000 active-duty troops from its current 480,000; increase the Marine Corps from 23 to 36 battalions, or by as many as 10,000 more Marines; boost the Navy from 276 to 350 ships and submarines; and raise the number of Air Force tactical aircraft from 1,100 to 1,200.
In a speech to conservative activists on Friday, Trump promised, “One of the greatest military buildups in American History.” So, let’s look at the price tag of some of this hardware in this chart by military education.org, which compares the prices with items and services needed on civilian life.
DONALD TRUMP: This defense spending increase will be offset, and paid for, by finding greater savings and efficiencies across the Federal government. The Obamacare is a failed disaster.
KIM BROWN: According to the Congressional Budget Office, The Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, provided coverage to about 24 million people. The cost of the ACA over the next 10 years is the same current cost of the F35 Program, which has not yet met its original stated goals.
DONALD TRUMP: Now, I have to tell you, it’s an unbelievably complex subject. Nobody knew that healthcare could be so complicated.
KIM BROWN: Meanwhile, the City of Baltimore is experiencing a deficit, which is roughly the cost of a single F22 Raptor fighter jet. The $54 billion spike in military expenditures proposed by Trump, could fund Baltimore’s education budget for 41 years. Using as a sample, the cost for 2017, which was estimated on $1.3 billion, by the school’s authority.
DONALD TRUMP: My budget increases spending, and the increase in all spending for Federal law enforcement also, and activities having to do with law enforcement, will be substantially increased.
KIM BROWN: Senate Majority Leader, Mitch McConnell estimated that the 1,300-mile-long project would cost $15 billion. As for the extreme vetting, and its infamous travel ban, which shocked the world — citing top industry executives — Forbes reported that travelers are adjusting their travel plans. With the greatest losses projected from Europe, Mexico and the Middle East, as well as a loss of $7.38 billion a year, due to not only tougher visa requirements, but also antipathy to U.S. foreign policy.
DONALD TRUMP: We must ensure that our courageous service men and women have the tools they need to deter war. And when called upon to fight in our name, only do one thing, win. We have to win. We have to start winning wars again. I have to say, when I was young, in high school and college, everybody used to say we never lost a war. We never lost a war. You remember.
KIM BROWN: For more coverage on this and other stories, visit The Real News.com.