In an interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, US President Donald Trump emphasized his support for military spending over balancing the federal budget.
“Our military is more important to me than a balanced budget,” said Trump.
Trump’s statement will cause some discomfort in Republican circles – particularly the Congress – as they have been pushing for massive budget cuts, including limits to defence spending in some cases.
It’s another example of how Trump won the election running on an unorthodox platform, combining some Republican policies – tax cuts, reducing regulations – with historically democratic ideas – protecting entitlement spending and infrastructure stimulus programs.
When it comes to military spending however, Trump appears to be taking a similar approach to both Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, who both increased spending on national defence while presiding over large budget deficits.
Reagan’s military spending proved an effective counter to the Soviet Union, hastening their decline as they tried to keep up with America’s more powerful economy.
Bush’s military spending surged after 9/11 and the Afghanistan and Iraq Wars.
Of note is that Trump has promised to increase spending on the military, while also reducing America’s role around the world.
How those pledges match up, and how Republicans react to Trump’s prioritizing of military spending will have a big impact on the future of the US budget and military intervention around the world.
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