Can Trump Balance Defense and the Budget?

Donald Trump has criticized major defense budgets in recent weeks. Boeing’s Air Force One and Lockheed Martin’s F-35 programs have both come under Twitter-fire from the President Elect. CEOs of both companies have come forward and promised to reduce costs.

However, this fiscal awareness has raised questions about how Mr. Trump will deliver on his campaign promise to “rebuild” the United State’s “depleted military” without launching a new era of irresponsible debt. Some experts estimate Mr. Trump’s investments in U.S. Army, Navy, and Air Force equipment and personnel will cost “is about $800-900B higher over ten years than the most recent president’s budget request.”

The Washington Examiner’s Byron York sees a complimentary relationship between Mr. Trump’s budget hawk and his defense hawk positions:

“In recent years, the GOP’s position on defense spending has been one long protest against sequester limits. The nation should spend more on the Pentagon, Hill Republicans have argued. At times, GOP lawmakers have seemed considerably less concerned about the billions the Department of Defense throws away every year.

Trump can change that. While the president-elect still wants to spend more on defense, he has given just as high a profile to his desire to cut waste. It could be a popular combination.”

York continues, listing three major benefits from waste management:

“1) Waste is objectively a serious problem that needs to be addressed.

2) An anti-waste crusade would strengthen the Republican image of fiscal responsibility.

3) It would keep a Trump campaign promise.

If he actually tried to tackle the waste problem, Trump would make many enemies, Republican and Democrat. But he would win the support of many voters.”