In recent years, military spending decreased because of the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015. President-elect Trump will most likely reverse this act and increase the military budget.
The current defense budget for the 2017 fiscal year is $582.7 billion. According to Forbes, Trump wishes to increase it to about $1 trillion. The money, according to Trump’s campaign, would go towards increasing manpower in the Army, the amount of ships in the Navy, and to strengthen U.S’s nuclear power. This drastic spending increase can potentially harm many American citizens.
These $500 billion dollars will have to come from somewhere, and since the Treasury cannot just print new money, they will most likely be redistributed from other areas of the Discretionary Fund. This fund includes many services that are provided to the majority of American citizens. Specifically, the fund includes education and Social Security, along with unemployment benefits. Given Trump’s statements and recent Secretary of Education designee, it is likely that the money will come from these two areas.
Even though the unemployment rate has decreased to a relatively low 4.6 percent under President Obama, many still rely on these governmental benefits. In total, there are slightly over 69 million unemployed individuals in the United States. Without such benefits, these citizens would most likely fall into poverty or criminal activities. As one of the world’s strongest nations, this would not reflect well on the United States. Furthermore, such increase could potentially discourage stock holders and affect the market.
As far as education goes, it is likely that Betsy DeVos, the Secretary of Education designee, will take away funding from public education. Devos has said that she wants “parents to do the searching for good schools”. Many public schools need federal government funding in order to stay open. They also require the funding to better standardize testing scores and provide materials to students.
Without these governmental aids, it is likely that many of these schools will close or strongly diminish in quality. The students who graduate from these institutions will not be prepared to participate in higher education. They will most likely stay in the same neighborhood they grew up in as they will not have the means to move to better areas with more opportunities. This will assure social status reproduction, and their children will endure the same poor education.
DeVos’ plans will be harmful to lower class members as they will not have the ability to change its socio-economic class. It will also harm the nation because many citizens will not have the opportunities to use their skills to help further the nation’s interests.
Increasing the defense budget will also affect diplomatic relations with other countries. Many nations that heavily rely on military power could possibly align with Trump’s United States. These nations could see the U.S as an even greater military powerhouse that could help them in the long run.
It is also clear, based off of Trump’s budding relationship with Vladimir Putin, that the President-elect is willing to be friendly, and possibly align, with countries that have had a bad reputation on the world stage for political and human rights abuses. The alliances with these military-focused nations could harm long-lasting relations with current allies.
Many of the United States’ allied democracies do not agree with the policies of nations such as Taiwan or Russia. If the U.S begins to develop diplomatic ties with these countries, then our current allies may deem the U.S as an enemy, which could be harmful for our country in any possible upcoming war.
The nation, as a whole, will not be better off with a larger military budget. In fact, a larger budget will only harm many aspects of the American identity. If a larger budget is passed, the United States of America will have a different, worse, connotation in the eyes of the world.