March 21, 2017

How the US Military Could Spend $54 Billion

Featuring Paul Scharre, and Adam Routh

Source: VICE

Journalist Mike Pearl

Last Thursday, President Trump released his first budget proposal, outlining billions of dollars in cuts from programs designed to protect the environment, help the poor, and shore up struggling foreign countries. The way America's new commander-in-chief sees it, most of that money should go to his military, with some siphoned off for extra border security, of course. The plan, a document helpfully titled, "America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again," claims that if we want to reverse the gross atrophy of the Obama era, the government must "make the safety of our people its number one priority—because without safety, there can be no prosperity."

In order to boost the defense budget by $54 billion, Trump hopes Congress will agree to such cuts as large as 28 percent from the budget for the State Department, nearly 18 percent at Health and Human Services and a whopping 31 percent from the Environmental Protection Agency. Oh, and the complete annihilation of federal funding for the arts, humanities, and public broadcasting.

Trump's austerity measures could hit programs that feed elderly Americans, pay to keep homes warm in winter, and supervise working people's kids after school. But in return, Americans would, in theory, enjoy the piece of mind that comes from knowing more and better weapons are out there somewhere, putting the hurt on their enemies. "The military has been forced to make aging ships, planes, and other vehicles last well beyond their intended life spans," the White House says in the document.

Read the full article at Vice.

  • Paul Scharre

    Senior Fellow and Director, Technology and National Security Program

    Paul Scharre is a Senior Fellow and Director of the Technology and National Security Program at the Center for a New American Security. He is author of the forthcoming book, A...

  • Adam Routh

    Research Associate, Defense Strategies and Assessments Program

    Adam Routh is a Research Associate with the Defense Strategies and Assessments Program at the Center for a New American Security. Prior to joining CNAS, Mr. Routh served as a...