Although President Donald Trump touted monumental changes to the Pentagon’s budget and a “great rebuilding of the Armed Forces,” his upcoming 2018 budget proposal released Tuesday, doesn’t appear to live up to the hype.
“I think that the budget that the administration will propose is roughly 3% more than what President Obama had suggested for this year,” Rep. Mac Thornberry, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, said in a Washington Examiner report. “It’s roughly a 5% increase over current year funding.”
“So, I think it is fair to say it’s basically the Obama approach with a little bit more, but not much,” continued Thornberry.
Trump’s budget asks for 70 Lockheed Martin F-35s, 14 Boeing F/A-18E/Fs, and eight new Navy ships — just like Obama’s expectation for the upcoming fiscal year, according to Bloomberg.
Todd Harrison, a defence budget analyst, claimed that the budget plan would be the ninth-largest expansion in the last four decades of defence expenditures, according to a DefenseNews report.
Defence analyst Mackenzie Eaglen of the American Enterprise Institute labelled it “middle of the road, vanilla stuff” and that it was “in line with recent historical precedent and is nothing extraordinary or historical,” DefenseNews reported.
According to some lawmakers in Congress, Trump’s budget proposal may be dead on arrival.
“As we’ll see with the ’18 budget, the one defence dollar up and one non-defence dollar down trade will never, ever have enough votes to pass, period,” continued Eaglen. Harrison also seemed to agree with the assessment. “Dead on arrival is an understatement,” Harrison said. “The cuts to non-defence discretionary spending in the out years may even spook some fiscal conservatives.”
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