With all the attention focused on the defeat of the Trumpcare bill, people can’t be blamed if they’ve forgotten about the horrendous budget plan that Trump submitted to Congress a couple of weeks back.
So, let’s remind you that the President’s budget plan for the next fiscal year would cut spending on every single government agency and program from the EPA to Meals On Wheels, while increasing expenditures on Defense, Homeland Security, and Veterans Affairs.
Given this massive misallocation of priorities, it is somewhat ironic that the military itself has exposed Trump’s latest lie.
According to Stars And Stripes, the Defense Department news organization, the President’s just-submitted numbers for this year’s supplemental military budget are double counting about $5.2 billion of the additional $30 billion Trump is asking for.
More than $3 billion in ship and aircraft programs in the supplemental request were already included in an earlier budget awaiting congressional action. On top of that, another $2 billion is being requested for hiring additional military personnel and to give raises to existing employees. Both of these were also already included in a previous budget allocation making its way through the legislative process.
According to Senator Richard Durbin (D-IL) of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Defense:
“Congress has already addressed $5 billion of the requested funds in the pending defense appropriations bill.”
Stars And Stripes is at a loss to explain why Trump might ask for the same money twice:
“It is unusual, to say the least, for an administration to ask Congress to add funds to a bill when the money is already in the bill. The administration had two weeks to make note of the redundancies — the period between the disclosure of the spending bill’s contents and the submission of the supplemental on March 16.”
With all the talk of slashing much-needed funds for social services, environmental protection, and the arts, a $30 billion mistake in Defense Department arithmetic shows that the Trump administration is either completely incompetent or, perhaps more nefariously, has something up their sleeves that they haven’t revealed yet.
With Trump already sending additional troops to Syria and Iraq, does he need the additional $5 billion for war plans being forged to turn public attention away from his falling poll numbers and failed Obamacare repeal?
Why else would they be so anxious to turn plowshares into swords?
Vinnie Longobardo is a 35-year veteran of the TV, mobile & internet industries, specializing in start-ups and the international media business. His passions are politics, music and art.