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National Security & Defense

Krauthammer’s Take: Trump’s Tax Cuts May Need to Be Reduced to Cover Military Rebuilding

Charles Krauthammer argues that the collapse in military spending has been catastrophic, and that Trump’s desire to change that will conflict with his plan for large tax cuts:

Eight years ago, defense spending was 4.6 percent of GDP. Today it’s 3.2 percent. That is a catastrophic collapse. That is a huge decrease. Remember the stories that you had just months ago about the cannibalizing of some of our airplanes to keep others in the air, the decrease in training. There has been a ruinous decline in defense spending and what this is going to be is a minor beginning to the rebuilding. I support it entirely but as of now, I tend to side with John McCain that this may not be enough. When you read the stories about this being an enormous increase — and to put it in larger perspective, under the sainted John Kennedy, defense spending was 10 percent of GDP — we are about at a third of that level. And we are in dire need with Russia, China, and Iran rising, of correcting that. This is the down payment on what’s really needed.

You’ve got to find the money someplace, I don’t think they really have it right now. The Reagan buildup, which essentially won the Cold War for us, didn’t happen overnight either. It took a decade, and this probably will take something like a decade. But I think the administration is going to have to find something and it may have to reduce some of the tax cuts in order to have the money for the military to be rebuilt.

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