Donald Trump spends taxpayers’ money on wars

This video from the USA says about itself:

[Democratic Party congresswoman and presidential candidate] Tulsi Gabbard: Wasteful wars bring more suffering and cost trillions

The trillions of dollars wasted on regime change wars should be invested in our healthcare, education, infrastructure, etc.

By Patrick Martin in the USA:

A US budget for worldwide war

12 March 2019

The budget request made public Monday by the White House must be taken by the international working class as a serious warning. The US government is preparing for full-scale war abroad and savage attacks on the living standards and social benefits of working people at home. The most powerful imperialist state is seeking a record level of military spending, while demanding unprecedented cuts in spending on social necessities such as healthcare, education and the environment.

The Trump administration proposes to give the Pentagon an increase nearly double that sought by the military establishment itself—a 4.7 percent rise over current spending, double the 2.4 percent increase for which Defense Department officials had been planning. The dollar amount of the increase is $34 billion, while the Pentagon asked for only $17 billion.

Total US military spending of $750 billion would be larger than the 2018 military spending of the next 14 countries combined—China, Saudi Arabia, Russia, India, Britain, France, Japan, Germany, South Korea, Brazil, Australia, Italy, Israel and Iraq.

Perhaps the most startling and ominous figure in the budget request is the proposed increase for Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO), the all-purpose war-fighting category that includes funding for the US interventions in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria, drone warfare across the wider Middle East and North Africa, and the US military buildup on the borders of Russia (European Deterrence Initiative). While the fiscal year 2019 budget provides $69 billion for OCO, the request for FY 2020 balloons to a staggering $164 billion.

Initial press reports, citing White House sources, claim that this is an accounting gimmick, reclassifying a significant portion of the regular Pentagon budget as OCO in order to allow the military nominally to comply with spending caps set in 2011 under a bipartisan budget agreement between the Obama administration and congressional Republicans, but routinely evaded in congressional budget deal-making since then. Under that scenario, the Trump administration would declare that it was now observing the caps, imposing them on domestic spending through a savage across-the-board cut of at least five percent. Meanwhile, overall military spending would soar, since money for the OCO is not counted towards the spending caps.

This 9 February 2019 Tulsi Gabbard video says about itself:

Trump clamors for new regime change warsIran, Venezuela

President Trump campaigned against regime change wars when he ran for President, but now he bows to the wishes of the neocons who surround him, clamoring for the regime change wars that he claimed to oppose–this time in Venezuela and Iran.

These powerful politicians dishonor the sacrifices made by every one of my brothers and sisters in uniform, their families – as they are the ones who pay the price for these wars.

In fact, every American pays the price for these wars that have cost us trillions of dollars since 9/11. Every dollar that we spend on regime change wars or on the new cold war and this nuclear arms race is a dollar coming out of our pockets … dollars that should be used to address the very real, urgent needs of our people and our communities right here at home.

The Patrick Martin article continues:

Whatever the truth of such assertions, funneling almost $100 billion more into Overseas Contingency Operations has implications far beyond Trump’s maneuvers with Congress, and would surely provoke alarm in Tehran, Moscow and Beijing. It would give the Pentagon more than enough money to fight a major war, such as an invasion of Iran or Venezuela, both targets of Trump fist-shaking in recent months, or North Korea, if the current talks between Washington and Pyongyang collapse completely. This vast sum could even be used to finance the initial stages of a war with China or Russia, if such a conflict did not immediately escalate into a world-destroying nuclear holocaust.

Moreover, given Trump’s ongoing effort to use the declaration of a bogus “national emergency” on the US-Mexico border to redirect Pentagon funds towards the building of his border wall, the creation of a gigantic $164 billion OCO slush fund would give the commander-in-chief virtually free rein for military operations around the world, or within the United States itself. For a sense of the scale of the war allocation, the $164 billion OCO fund by itself is roughly equal to the total military budget of China, at $168 billion, and nearly three times the $63 billion military budget of Russia. It would pay for Trump’s border wall many times over.

Specific military spending categories that have been reported include $104 billion for research and development, with the main focus on hypersonic weapons (missiles and planes flying much faster than sound), on artificial intelligence systems (cyberwarfare and automated battlefield weapons), and “space-based technologies”. The Navy will contract for two new Gerald Ford-class supercarriers, costing upwards of $13 billion apiece. The Air Force will buy upgraded F-15 fighter jets from Boeing and more F-35s from Lockheed Martin. Tens of billions will go to update and modernize US nuclear weaponry.

Then there is a $9.2 billion “emergency requirements” item that would “address border security and hurricane recovery.” The portion devoted to “hurricane recovery” is for past and future damage to US military facilities and the cost of deploying US military resources during and after a storm, not for civilian needs. And “border security” would give Trump yet another pot of money to fund the US-Mexico border wall, in addition to the $8.6 billion formally requested in the budget for that purpose.

While proposing this bonanza for the Pentagon, the Trump budget would impose the biggest cuts in Medicaid and Medicare in history, nearly $2 trillion over 10 years. Medicaid would be converted into block grants to the states, with spending increases limited to the rate of overall inflation, not the much higher rate of health care cost inflation, forcing almost immediate cuts by the states. In addition, the expansion of Medicaid under Obamacare would be repealed, cutting off health coverage for more than 10 million people. The total savings over 10 years are estimated at $1.1 trillion. Another $845 billion would be slashed from Medicare by slashing reimbursements to hospitals and other health care providers and eliminating “waste, fraud and abuse”.

According to a White House summary reported by the Washington Post, other federal social spending would be slashed even more in percentage terms, although by smaller dollar amounts: $327 billion over 10 years from food stamps, housing assistance and other means-tested programs; $200 billion from retirement programs for federal and postal workers; $207 billion from college student loan programs, including those that provide food and housing assistance; cuts of 32 percent from the Environmental Protection Agency, 22 percent from the Department of Transportation, 11 percent from the Department of the Interior, 12 percent from the Department of Education and 12 percent from the Department of Health and Human Services.

The response by congressional Democrats and the media to the Trump budget has been to focus on the $8.6 billion request for the border wall—the issue that was the trigger for a 35-day partial shutdown of the federal government that ended in late January. This is a deliberate diversion, allowing the Democrats to posture as intransigent opponents of Trump while they quarrel with him over a sum that represents less than two one-thousandths of a $4.6 trillion budget.

The Democratic leadership fully embraced Trump’s military budget as part of a bipartisan deal last year, and it is just as enthusiastically in support of the Pentagon this year. In fact, the Democrats have generally attacked Trump from the right on foreign policy, demanding a more aggressive stance toward Russia in Syria and Eastern Europe, against North Korea, and in opposition to China, particularly on trade.

Even on border security, the Democrats are in full support of further massive spending increases to deploy more technology and hire more Customs and Border Protection and Immigration and Customs Enforcement thugs to persecute immigrants, so long as it isn’t labeled as money for Trump’s wall.

The delivery of Trump’s proposed budget begins an entirely predictable and cynical sham fight in Washington. The Democrats will denounce the proposed cuts in Medicaid, Medicare and other social programs and vow to fight them to the death. They will ultimately do a deal with Trump that includes major new cuts in social programs, which do not, however, go as far as the White House proposals, in return for full funding for the US military-intelligence apparatus, the most reactionary and dangerous force on the planet.

Taking aim squarely and unapologetically at the children of the working class, the Trump administration released its proposed budget for fiscal year 2020, calling for cutting education spending by over $7 billion. At the same time, the administration is asking for $5 billion to fund “scholarship funds” for private and religious schools. The administration is also asking for an extra $133 million to pursue young people who have defaulted on their student loans: here.

New York Times lines up with anti-China hawks: here.

The deepening bipartisan hostility to China was on open display at a hearing of the US Senate Finance Committee on Tuesday called to discuss the future of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) as the 25th anniversary of its founding approaches: here.

Trump wants to give 62 cents of every dollar to the military. That’s immoral. A budget shows our values more clearly than any tweet, campaign speech, or political slogan: here.

29 thoughts on “Donald Trump spends taxpayers’ money on wars

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  2. LCV


    The Trump administration’s budget wants to slash the EPA by 31%.

    There’s a short window to speak out against his budget request so it doesn’t become reality. We need your help.

    Fight back: Right now, every gift to League of Conservation Voters will be triple matched — even $5 helps a lot »

    The Trump administration just rolled out the official federal budget proposal for the year. This is bad: it includes a MASSIVE 31% cut to the EPA.

    Clean air protections. Toxic pollution rules. Clean water safeguards. All are at risk if this budget becomes law.

    We need your help. Trump doesn’t set the budget alone — these cuts are going to spark a huge showdown in Congress. We need every member of Congress hearing from their constituents. To make that happen, we need to organize in a major way.

    A major donor has just stepped up to TRIPLE MATCH every gift to this campaign. The best thing you can do right now to help is to make an emergency donation and have your gift tripled.

    We CAN block Trump’s budget, Lola. Please, please, please: Make a triple-matched gift of $5 or more to LCV today »

    I want you to know — we have a real shot at blocking these cuts. This IS a fight we can win. We have an environmental majority in the House right now, which means Trump can’t simply steamroll whatever priority he wants.

    But there’s a real risk here, too. By proposing such deep cuts, Trump is trying to carve out an initial negotiating position where even meeting him halfway would essentially decimate the agency that protects public health and our environment. We need to act quickly to make sure Congress doesn’t accept ANY cuts to the EPA and other agencies that protect our environment.

    Pulling that off will require organizing in a big way. We have teams meeting with staff on Capitol Hill now. But we need to ramp up grassroots efforts too — getting constituents calling and visiting offices and flooding inboxes with letters. Right now, that means using resources we don’t have.

    Can we count on your support? Thousands of people from all over the country are pitching in with $5, $10, $20 donations — some becoming LCV members for the very first time, and many making monthly contributions to help fight back. Anything you can pitch in can make a huge difference right now.

    We need to raise $250,000 by the end of March to keep our work going strong. If everyone reading this right now pitched in just $5, we’d blow through that goal in minutes. Remember — a donor is offering a triple match, so your contribution goes even further than usual if you give today.

    Triple your impact: Join the fight TODAY with a gift of $5 or more. We won’t win without your help »

    Lola, this is a fight we can win — thanks so much for being a part of it.


    Gene Karpinski
    League of Conservation Voters

    740 15th St NW, 7th Floor
    Washington, DC 20005


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  6. I wanted to make sure you saw this — Trump just released his fiscal year 2020 federal budget, and he’s moving to DECIMATE environmental programs across agencies:

    EPA budget … slashed by $2.8 BILLION.
    Land and Water Conservation Fund … GUTTED.
    Climate research office … ELIMINATED.

    We need to mobilize NOW. The Land and Water Conservation Fund provides the resources for national, state, and local parks all over the country. It just got reauthorized in an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote, and Trump’s moving to gut it anyway.

    We need your help. We can shut down this budget proposal, but we need to get organizers on the ground, preparing protests across the country, and flooding congressional offices with calls and letters. Resources are running low and right now, we can’t do it all — not without you. Can you pitch in today?

    With so much on the line, a major donor is offering a TRIPLE MATCH for every gift to this campaign. The best thing you can do right now is to make an emergency donation and make triple the impact »

    I want you to know we CAN stop Trump’s budget before it goes any further. This is the third time we’ve taken Trump on over his budget and the Land and Water Conservation Fund. Last year, Trump and the GOP leadership in Congress let the Land and Water Conservation Fund expire — but with the help of more than 140,000 LCV members like you, LCV’s “Our Lands, Our Voice” drove an overwhelming effort to permanently reauthorize the program.

    We HAVE to do it again. The Land and Water Conservation Fund is our nation’s best parks program and has benefitted virtually EVERY county in the country. If we don’t act now, Trump’s budget would gut the program’s funding and decimate environmental protections.

    We have an environmental majority in the House right now, which means Trump can’t simply steamroll whatever priority he wants. But we need to act quickly to make sure Congress doesn’t accept ANY cuts to the EPA and other agencies that protect our environment.

    It’s up to us to make sure Trump and Congress doesn’t get away with choking off funding for critical programs like the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

    We need to raise $250,000 by the end of March to keep our work going strong. If everyone reading this right now pitched in just $5, we’d blow through that goal in minutes. Remember — a donor is offering a triple match, so your contribution goes even further than usual if you give today.

    Triple your impact: Join the fight TODAY with a gift of $5 or more. We won’t win without your help »

    Things will get unpredictable over the next few days as we continue to fight the Trump budget and ramp up efforts in the House and Senate. We’ll keep you posted on everything that’s moving — and the work we’re doing to protect our environment.

    Thank you for all of your support — we couldn’t do our work without you.


    Gene Karpinski
    League of Conservation Voters


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