28 Feb 2017

Trump to Pump the U.S. Army

$54 billion dollars more spending will be going into the U.S. army if Trump’s proposed new 2018 budget is accepted. That is 10% increase from last year and equals almost the entire military plan of Russia ($58.9 for 2016). According to Mr. Trump the American army is “depleted” and no longer wins wars. Looking at the numbers though, the financial plan for the US military last year amounts to the staggering $604.5 billion dollars—almost 5 times more than the runner up—China with $145 billion spent on the army. In fact, the US army finances summarised the budget of the next 13 countries including UK, Saudi Arabia, Russia and Iran.

Nevertheless, since 2011 it was common for military spending to decline due to budgetary battles in Congress. For a short period, the US army had to manage itself with less than $100 billion which were frozen during the second presidency of Barack Obama.

In his speech in front of the governors in the White House, Trump underlined that his budget will follow his promises to keep America safe and therefore is based on two main pillars: “public safety and national security”. The President believes that if his budget proposal is accepted, it will send a “message to the world in these dangerous times of American strength, security and resolve.”

Of course, Mr. Trump’s proposal wasn’t supported by all American politicians. Even among the Republicans, there were concerns about where the proposed $54 billion will come from. Bill Hoagland, a longtime Republican budget aide and now senior vice president at Bipartisan Policy Center, is convinced that amount of money can be found without “wholesale taking out entire departments” which he also sees as a dangerous move, which is not even supported in the Republican Congress.

The new budget will be presented in detail in May but it is said there will be changes not only in Medicare and Social Security, which Donald Trump promised to reform during his campaign, but also in programs for veterans’ benefits and law enforcement divisions. That is expected to lead to serious alterations in many federal programs. By far, according to the signals from the White House, the first agencies on the list are the Internal Revenue Service (I.R.S.), the Environmental Protection Agency and different social safety-net programs.

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