Home/Daniel Larison/Throwing More Money at the Military Is a Waste

Throwing More Money at the Military Is a Waste

Trump campaigned on increased military spending, and this week he will announce a plan to do just that. This line from the report made me laugh:

Given that Mr. Trump plans to boost military spending and cut taxes, the White House budget plan could leave conservatives in a difficult position if the GOP-led budget does little to curb spending.

There are some genuine fiscal conservatives that wouldn’t want to do what Trump is proposing, but there are usually not many of them when a Republican president is in office. Under Bush, there wasn’t even the pretense that Republicans cared about adding an enormous amount to the debt. Most Congressional Republicans supported financing Bush’s wars and expansion of Medicare with borrowing, and I assume the same will be true again now. The administration won’t be able to make up the difference from higher military spending and reduced revenue by gutting other agencies, but I doubt that will stop them from trying. Needless to say, the military doesn’t need a larger budget, so Trump will be piling more debt on future generations for no good reason. The U.S. spends as much on our military as the next seven countries combined, and it could afford to spend significantly less than it does if it practiced restraint, but we already know that Trump has no interest in that. Increasing military spending beyond its already exorbitant current level is inherently wasteful, and doing it in the way that Trump plans is completely fiscally irresponsible.

about the author

Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC, where he also keeps a solo blog. He has been published in the New York Times Book Review, Dallas Morning News, World Politics Review, Politico Magazine, Orthodox Life, Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week. He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter.

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