Trump’s budget misses the mark


JOSEPH CANNING | canni001@rangers.uwp.edu

On Thursday, March 16, United States President Donald Trump revealed his plans for the 2018 national budget. The budget proposal is titled “America First” on the White House website and promises to “make America great.”

Where the money is going

As can be expected of any utterance from Trump, his proposals have been intensely controversial, even among fellow Republicans still reluctant to support their President. The new budget threatens to sever nearly all foreign aid, virtually eliminate climate research, decimate funding for the arts, and reduce agricultural subsidies. All of these major cuts beg the question of where the funds will go to instead. The answer: the military… and the wall.

Trump’s budget proposal certainly does live up to its title, but it is not the common people of America, rather America’s soldiers and defense contractors that are the priority. A total increase of $52 billion is to go towards an increased number of troops, new ships, and the flawed and inordinately priced F-35 fighters; a further $2.8 billion goes to the Department of Homeland Security for Trump’s promised wall.

Stuffing the military’s pockets

The large boost to the already generously funded United States military is wholly unnecessary and wasteful. The US’s military is already the strongest and—by a ludacris margin—the most expensive on Earth. The military spending of the next seven biggest spenders on Earth still fails to equal the current military spending in America.

Presumably, Trump demands that more money be thrown at the armed forces for some eventual goal or some grand purpose, but the only way he seems to be to be able to defend the increase in funding is to contribute to America’s greatness. The purpose of a military is to fight wars, so, to Trump, war seems to make nations great—or at least the ability to make war. Since money is planned to be withdrawn from the State Department and several foreign aid programs, peaceful cooperation seems contrary to Trump’s vision of greatness.

A wall and a hard place

The hard rhetoric of the President during his campaigning last year made Mexico’s cooperation in the funding of the border wall sound absolute, but the budget proposal suggests that Trump is already conceding that Mexico will not pay for his wall. Enrique Nieto, Mexico’s President, has repeatedly refused payment for the wall and an outraged population ensures his stance will not change.

As for the wall, it is all too likely that American taxpayers will be the ones funding it in the end. If Trump persists with his demands of Nieto, the commander-in-chief might just have to put his additional $52 billion to use.

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