Okay, so this post may be a little political. It is obvious that there is a strong bias against Trump in class, so some may be happy about this point I’m about to make.
I’ve been a day 1 Donald Trump supporter. I read “Art of the Deal” about five years ago and consider his to be an example of the American Dream working. But recently I have disagreed with one of his policies for the first time. Trump plans on increasing federal military spending by 10% (about $54 billion). WHY? 53% of our Federal Budget is military spending. We outspend like the next five countries. Is that not enough? Imagine if we cut military spending in half… We would still spend more than any other country in the world, I would still feel safe. So if we cut that in half, we would have about $300 billion extra a year to spend on things like infrastructure (or dare I say we run a budget surplus…?). Investing that money into things like infrastructure would make businesses in the United States much more productive and grow our economy. It just doesn’t make sense to increase an already ridiculous amount for military spending, or maybe I’m missing something? Is there an intergalactic war we are prepping for?
You can not advocate increasing infrastructure, military, and veteran benefits spending, while also cutting corporate tax rates from 35% to 15%. Unless you want to double our already insane level of debt. I know this may come off as a rant, but come on…
To answer your question about why – which who really knows what Trump is doing and why? I’m not even sure if he knows why he’s doing the stuff he does half the time – e.g. all his twitter rants that basically go no where (As you can tell, I’m not a big supporter and haven’t been since day 1 :P) But the increase in military spending supports his rhetoric of fear that was used throughout the campaign. I don’t think it’s necessarily about us feeling safe – in fact, I think he wants us to not feel safe in order to justify the increase in spending (all of his speeches where he blames some country or another for the problems that we have) He probably wants to send a clear message to other countries as well – “Don’t mess with the USA” type thing – I wonder how much of this is related to nationalism as well, and whether we equate our military spending to at least feel more boastful about being “the most powerful country” in the world. It’s obvious that he feels threatened – I have an acquaintance who voted for Trump solely because she believed that he was “crazy enough” to end ISIS. While I think the increase in military spending is irrational and harmful to the economy, it’s only one of the many, many things that I have found irrational about all of this. Thanks for your thoughts 🙂
The current incarnation of the Republican Party is radical, not conservative. They are unconcerned with budget deficits, unlike the party up through George Bush Sr. Despite his claims to be a businessman (who presumably would see a need to have revenues greater than expenditures), Trump fits right into that mindset. After all, he’s not spending his own money, he doesn’t pay taxes (else we would have had his tax returns), so why not?
In any case, you are correct in noting the very fundamental tension between what Trump says he wants to do on the tax front and what he wants to do on the expenditure front. Of course if after 8 years of complaining about healthcare and touting tax reform the House can’t pass any legislation, much of this may be moot. Except for the climate of fear and distrust and disregard with fact-based policy. We’ve spent decades building up a rather small bureaucracy that has lots of expertise. Trump can undo that without legislation, by not filling posts and by driving out those who say “but wait, in fact…”
I’ve disliked Trump since he announced his run for president and was alarmed as his lack of preparedness for what should be simple policy questions. I agree that his increase in military spending is baffling if he’s doing this as a businessman, but I think it makes sense for him as a politician since military spending is one of the only things things he’ll be able to accomplish that subscribe to his “America First” platform. I personally think his nationalistic rhetoric and populism are worrisome and the growing geopolitical tensions don’t make me feel any better about who our President is.
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