Well, we were right! Just as many pundits predicted during the first few weeks of the Trump administration, and as I referenced in the February 12th Notable News post: How Much Trump Policy Will Cost You, the Trump administration has recently announced their plan to increase defense spending by $54 Billion while simultaneously drastically cutting government programs by hundreds of billions of dollars to help pay for Trump’s colossal spending plan and tax cuts for the rich. As I also pointed out in the post referenced above, collectively, from what we know at this point, Trump’s current plans will cost the American public $6 Trillion over the next ten years – and remember, these are only the plans that we know about so far. So, you may be asking… why is this important to me?
Well first, the United States currently spends more on national defense than the next 14 countries combined. So stated another way; if you add up defense spending from China, India, France, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Russia, United Kingdom, Iraq, Italy, Australia, Brazil, and Israel only then would you match the amount the United States spends on our national defense. With an annual budget of $600 Billion I think it’s safe to say we spend enough on national defense in this country. However, for some reason Mr. Trump doesn’t think so.
The Trump administration plans to announce tonight their plan to increase defense spending by $54 Billion, which would yet again place our national defense spending at record levels never before seen. I feel that before unveiling such a costly budget proposal, the Trump administration owes it to the American public to explain why, in these financially desperate times, we need to increase the defense budget by 10%. Sounds like someone has plans for war (??) Saying that, in the end, the people who will be hurt the most by the Trump budget will be people like us – the normal, everyday, hardworking American tax payers.
The U.S. Constitution is clear when it comes to laying out the role of government in the lives of the American public. Aside from the numerous duties outlined in the Constitution regarding the roles of government, the government is also charged with providing for the general welfare of the public. This happens in a number of different ways, but mainly by government supporting ventures like public education, public safety, public health, public transportation, regulatory oversight, and an assortment of other programs. When people hear the phrase “cutting government” most people think of this as being a good thing where we are cracking down on out of control government spending. But much like our own personal household budgets, there are things which we don’t mind cutting back on like entertainment, for instance, where cutting a budget like our food or electric would only be practical to a certain amount. After all, these are necessities of life.
The same could be said for the federal budget which pays for government programs. Many of these programs represent services which for the most part are taken for granted and which the public has no idea how the service impacts their day to day lives. It’s kind of like that old saying, you don’t know what you have until it’s gone! As an example: recently, the State of Pennsylvanian has undergone a crisis related to public education funding. Counties across the state (mostly in rural Republican districts) experienced budget shortfalls. One role the Department of Education plays in situations like these is to supplement local and state funding by providing federal funding to fill budget gaps.
Unfortunately, if the Trump administration has its way federal funding for local school districts would be greatly reduced and possibly completely eliminated forcing the local or state governments to make up the difference by increasing taxes on the state and local levels. This is just one example of the multitude of services we take for granted which would be impacted by Trump’s budget. While all Americans would see a reduction in government services, many of us also risk seeing reductions in program like Medicare, Medicaid, and possibly Social Security – which if not reduced during this administration’s term, would be adversely effected due to increases in our national debt which would have to be reconciled sometime in the near future. Regulatory agencies would also be greatly impacted by the Trump cuts putting the public’s health at risk and yet again opening the door to corruptions and illegal behavior in the financial industry which could result in another economic collapse like was witnessed in 2008.
In the end it is important to remember that nothing is free! There is a cost to everything. And sometimes you have to admit when things just don’t seem add up. Someone is going to have to pay for all of Trump’s handouts to the rich – and if you think for one second that the poor and vulnerable will be the only ones to pay through cuts in services, you are sadly mistaken!