Trump eyes $750B in defense spending increase. That could have paid tuition for all students.
President Donald Trump is signaling that he is on the verge of requesting a massive increase in military defense spending, on the request of senior Republican lawmakers, far over his previous plan of only $700 billion.
Instead, he told Defense Secretary Mattis, according to Bloomberg, that he may end up requesting $750 billion, $50 billion more than planned for the next fiscal year.
That $50 billion could provide free-tuition for almost all college students across the country, instead.
Remember? That was Hillary Clinton's plan when she was running for president. That seemed like an expensive proposal and Republicans criticized her, Bernie Sanders, and all its democratic proponents. How would they pay for it they said?
Yet, here we are today, with President Trump on the verge of falling to pressure from Senate Armed Services Chairman Jim Inhofe and House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry. They are urging Trump to spend the extra dough so it doesn't hurt the "troops."
Inhofe said publicly that only $700 billion would be essentially "downgrading the military." He then believed Trump would make the increase because he has faith “that the president is determined to keep our nation strong and the military adequately funded.”
Senator Inhofe is mistaken. Defense spending in 2017 was $610 billion. That was nearly three times more than what China spent on its military, and ten times what Russia spends.
But, we can't afford free tuition for college students, because it's too expensive.
This isn't all Trump's or Republican's fault, though. They get pressure from other people, too.
Case in point: the bipartisan National Defense Strategy Commission released a report last month stating that security funding must increase by 3 to 5 percent a year in order to roll back a “full-blown national security crisis.” Trump's original plan was for flat defense spending over five years, but that plan looks like it is going out the window.
While funding national defense is no easy task, a simple look at the numbers can help tell a different story on the budget: since Trump came into office, the national annual deficit (not the national debt), has gone from $585 billion in 2016 to $665 billion last year, and an estimated (and alarming) $833 billion for 2018. At this current pace, it is estimated that the deficit will hit nearly a trillion dollars next year and each year after it.
That money could pay for a heck of a lot more than just free tuition, but hey, at least "the troops" are in good hands.