President Donald Trump released this week his budget proposal that includes increasing by five percent United States military spending. However, Ron Paul Institute Academic Board Member and retired Army Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson argues in a Tuesday The Real News interview that the US government would do well to cut a trillion dollars over ten years — about 100 billion dollars a year — from its national security budget, a budget Wilkerson notes is about twice the 700-plus billion dollars Defense Department budget.
On the bright side, Wilkerson suggests in the interview that he thinks that, largely due to new US House of Representatives members, there may now be insurmountable opposition in the House to major Defense spending increases.
Wilkerson also sees a political liability for Trump arising from Trump pushing for the increased spending. Wilkerson describes the situation this way:
I was just up in Boston, and, you know, Massachusetts is not necessarily the breeding ground for this kind of uprising, even with its reputation in the revolution in the beginning and so forth. But, Massachusetts is angry, and Connecticut’s angry, and Rhode Island’s angry. And I’ve been in Texas and Oklahoma, and they’re angry too. And they’re angry that Trump promised to take care of the domestic situation — his most potent promise with these voters in terms of Make America Great Again, and he isn’t doing it. And he certainly isn’t doing it by increasing the Defense budget well beyond what even the average American understands is probably necessary to keep this country secure.
Now imagine if America suffers a recession in the lead-up to the 2020 presidential and congressional elections, an occurrence Wilkerson predicts in the interview is “very likely.” In the recession, many more Americans would lose their jobs and have difficulty making rent and mortgage payments. Then, Trump’s advocacy for loading up national security state and empire-building efforts with much more money can be expected to be regarded with much increased anger.
Watch Wilkerson’s complete interview here: