(c) 2017 by Paul DuginskiUsed only with express written permission
The “hard power” budget unveiled by President Trump last month proposes to boost military spending at the expense of many projects on the home front. Pretty soon, the Defense Department will find that there is nothing left at home to defend. It also proposes to slash the budgets for foreign aid and the United Nations.
The budget is intended to "send a message to our allies and our potential adversaries that this is a strong-power administration," according to Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s anti-establishment director of the Office of Management and Budget. Mulvaney was a founding member of the extremist House Freedom Caucus, in case you’re wondering where he’s coming from. He was elected to Congress as part of the so-called “tea party” wave.
So, in other words, we’re talking cuckoo.
And I think the world has already gotten the memo about U.S. “strong power.”
The United States spends about $610 billion a year on defense, according to the Peter G. Peterson Foundation. That’s more than China, Russia, Saudi Arabia, France, the United Kingdom, India and Germany combined. Those countries spend a total of $601 billion.
In order to boost defense spending, here are just a few of the agencies and programs from the long list that Trump would defund entirely: Corporation for Public Broadcasting, Legal Services Corporation, National Endowment for the Humanities, McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program, Federal Supplemental Educational Opportunity Grant program, Community Development Block Grant program, Job training grants, Global Climate Change Initiative and Green Climate Fund and the Essential Air Service program, which provides subsidized commercial air service to rural airports.
That’s just a sample from the list.
When the Pentagon battens on the budgets of programs that benefit the people at home, it hollows out our country like a North Korea. We don’t live for our defense, we defend ourselves to live. The military shouldn’t rule us.
Other programs, such as foreign aid and money for the U.N. can be humanitarian, accomplishing our foreign policy goals without resorting to war, although from the sounds of it, the simplistic Trump is spoiling for war.
I can truly say that I support a strong defense. The U.S. military is the best in the world and we should keep it that way. But under Trump, the Pentagon comes off as the proverbial rich guy who never has enough and always wants more.