At CPAC, Trump vowed to greatly increase the military budget while simultaneously lowering taxes on the middle class, an idea that IPS’ Phyllis Bennis argued is not actually possible unless he also cuts funding to the social services his base depends on.
“I think he’s counting on people not doing the math,” Bennis said. “If you’re cutting everybody’s taxes, you’re not going to have a whole lot of money available for a massive military budget — unless you’re prepared to get that money from slashing social security, Medicare, education, jobs,” things that people in who voted for him strongly rely on.
With 54 cents out of every federal dollar going to the military, there’s already less money available for jobs, healthcare, and education, an issue that’s only going to get worse if Trump’s proposed military budget goes through, Bennis argued.
“If he’s saying we have to massively re-fund the military in whole new ways with new amounts then we’re talking about slashing what’s left of the social safety net — and that’s going to play very, very badly in Trump’s heartland,” Bennis said.
Trump spewed rhetoric about the U.S. being unprepared to fight conventional wars as a way to justify building up an arsenal of war planes, submarines, and aircraft carriers. “You’re not talking about going to war against ISIS with an aircraft carrier,” Bennis said. “In that kind of a war, you’re talking about going up against Russia or China.”
This notion of entertaining the possibility of such a war “just speaks to the incredible chaos even at the messaging level,” Bennis said, when you have Trump supporters at the Committee waving Russian flags with ‘Trump’ written across them.
Watch the full interview on the Real News Network.