“Does the number of warships we have, and are building, really put America at risk, when the U.S. battle fleet is larger than the next thirteen navies combined—eleven of which are our partners and allies? Is it a dire threat that by 2020, the United States will have only twenty times more advanced stealth fighters than China?”
These rhetorical questions were posed by none other than President George W. Bush’s Secretary of Defense—Robert Gates—in a speech in 2010.
That’s not how President Donald Trump wants us to see it though.
Calling our military “gutted” and “depleted,” the Donald has created a mental image in America’s mind of skinny Mac getting sand kicked in his face.
Once again, reality and Trump are not in the same area code.
With the exception of 1986 and 1987, post WWII the United State has never spent more on the military than we are spending right now:
Trump insists that we’ve got to keep up with the threats we’re facing from the rest of the world. Viewed through this lens, though, our military spending makes even less sense:
Data from the International Institute for Strategic Studies, 2015 numbers in Billions. (Released in 2016)
Nevertheless, Trump has proposed increasing military spending by nearly 10 percent or 54 billion. To put that in perspective:
This money would be better spent by hiring hundreds of thousands of teachers, or by transitioning millions of households to solar power. Worse, to make room for this increase in spending, Trump is proposing a wide variety of cuts that are almost as insane as increasing military spending.
For example, Trump is proposing to eliminate the entire AmeriCorps program. Looking at just one subset of AmeriCorps—Reading Corps—in just one state (Minnesota), the program has helped more than 100,000 of that state’s struggling early elementary students become proficient in reading.
All this to unnecessarily bulk up to defend against an imaginary bully from kicking sand in our face.
America First, indeed.