Center for American Progress

Trump’s Wasteful Defense Plan Can’t Defend America
In the News

Trump’s Wasteful Defense Plan Can’t Defend America

Lawrence Korb and Francesca VanDoorn argue that the Trump administration’s defense budget honors campaign goals but hinders U.S. interests.

Since the Trump administration released its fiscal year 2018 “skinny budget” proposal it has become increasingly clear that the Republican establishment in both branches of government are increasingly divided on how U.S. taxpayer money should be spent. Trump advocates for massive cuts to many social programs (but not Social Security or Medicare) and has vowed to make America’s military great again, proposing a $54 billion increase in defense spending above the Budget Control Act caps. Fiscal conservatives within the party are concerned that the defense increase is wasteful and that many of the social programs that will be cut to fund the increase are necessary for their constituents. The opposite end of the Republican spectrum has defense hawks, such as Arizona Sen. John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, who wants to see an even bigger increase in defense spending. Both groups generally favor massive reforms—and often cuts—to entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

The above excerpt was originally published in The National Interest. Click here to view the full article.

The positions of American Progress, and our policy experts, are independent, and the findings and conclusions presented are those of American Progress alone. A full list of supporters is available here. American Progress would like to acknowledge the many generous supporters who make our work possible.


Lawrence J. Korb

Former Senior Fellow

Francesca VanDoorn