The Trump administration has announced that they plan to increase defense spending — which, of course, is actually war spending — by another $54 billion. To give you an idea of how much that is, a stack of 54 billion dollar-bills would be about 5,901 km and, if stacked sideways, could reach from New York City across the Atlantic Ocean to Paris, France. $54 billion/per-year would be enough to buy a new AK-47 every 2 years for each US adult, fix the Flint water-crisis about 36 times, or nearly double our spending on food-stamps.
That sure sounds like a lot — it’s certainly not chump-change. Trump-change, maybe — but could the United States really need that much more for defense? Let’s look at the numbers….
How “Badly Depleted” is the US Military?
“Our military has been so badly depleted”
According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute ( SIPRI ), the United States spent $596 billion on defense in 2015, which is more than 1/3rd of the $1.7 trillion spent by the entire world during the same year. In the same year, the US military budget ranked first in military spending, far ahead of the next 2 highest spenders, China & Saudi Arabia, who had budgets of about $215 & $87 billion. In fact, the 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, & 8th largest military budgets in the world still spent less than the United States. Here’s a chart for the visual learners in the audience:
With these facts in mind, it certainly can’t be our military budget that Trump was referring to when he said our military was “badly depleted.” ( Unless, of course, he’s referring to the $125 billion that the Pentagon misplaced )
What depleted military can he be talking about?
US Military Power vs. China & Russia
China does have a larger naval fleet than ours — but that’s mostly due to their higher numbers of small escorts & patrol craft. The United States’ Navy, however, includes nearly twice the number of destroyers that China has & can boast of 19 aircraft carriers, compared to China’s 1.
Russia also possesses just 1 aircraft carrier.
The US Military Is Not Depleted
But Donald Trump’s Brain Might Be…
Not only is the US military far from depleted, it is literally the largest military in the history of human civilization & is ridiculously better-funded than any other that currently exists. How he will pay for the proposed $54 billion increase is also a mystery — even if republicans in congress actually succeeded at destroying the Environmental Protection Agency ( as they’ve proposed ), the EPA’s entire budget is just $8.3 billion & Trump has promised not to cut Social Security or Medicare. Half of the Department of Education’s budget could do it — or most of the food stamps program, perhaps?
Or maybe Trump should simply imagine the funding, just like he imagined the problem in the first place?
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