Trump’s military parade could cost $30 million


President Donald Trump’s military parade will not come cheap. 

Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, estimated Wednesday that the public display of America’s military might that Trump has called for could cost between $10 million and $30 million, and said the government would have to come up with a way to cover the cost. 

Funding for the parade was not included in the White House’s 2019 budget request, which was released Monday, because it was a relatively new idea, Mulvaney said at a House Budget Committee hearing on Wednesday. He explained that the final cost would be determined by the size, scope and length of the parade. 

“We will continue to work with you folks if we decide to continue forward with this initiative,” Mulvaney said. “Of course, you’d have to appropriate funds for it or we would have to find funds that we’ve already appropriated.” 

The president has said that he wants to celebrate the armed forces with a spectacle akin to the Bastille Day parade in France. 

The last such celebration in Washington occurred in the summer 1991 when the end of the 41-day Persian Gulf War was celebrated with a $12 million victory parade. 

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said earlier this month that he is working to develop plans to fulfill the president’s request. 

“We’re all aware in this country of the president’s affection and respect for the military,” Mattis said. “We have been putting together some options, we will send them up to the White House for decision.” 

Some Republicans have been reluctant to endorse a military parade. Last week, Sen. John Kennedy of Louisiana said “confidence is silent and insecurity is loud” and that the United States did not need to show off its power. 

Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., pressed Mulvaney at the hearing on Wednesday about paying for a parade and suggested that holding one is reminiscent of displays of grandeur often seen in authoritarian countries. 

But the parade’s potential price tag could be its biggest obstacle. Republicans are already facing criticism from conservative economists and others for adding to the federal deficit at a moment when the United States is already borrowing heavily and when the nation’s debt has already topped $20 trillion. The White House budget released on Monday projects deficits will grow $7 trillion over the next decade, in part because of the $1.5 trillion tax cut that Republicans passed last year. 

The Trump administration has proposed cutting $3 trillion in nondefense discretionary spending, including by reducing funds for social welfare programs. This week, the Trump budget proposed cutting funding for the low-income food program known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, to pay for large increases in spending on the military. According to the left-leaning Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the $30 million that would be spent on the parade would provide annual food stamp benefits for about 20,000 people. 

“This would be a giant waste of money all in the name of satisfying the president’s fragile ego,” said Andrew Bates, a spokesman for American Bridge, the Democratic political action committee. “Donald Trump has already made the deficit skyrocket with massive tax cuts for the richest Americans and corporations; there’s no reason to add nearly $30 million to that number.”


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Trump

Man freed by Innocence Project now faces child sex assault charges
Man freed by Innocence Project now faces child sex assault charges

A man recently granted a new trial after serving 27 years in prison on a rape conviction was arrested Thursday on new charges that he sexually assaulted a 6-year-old girl known to the victim’s family in McKees Rocks. The assault allegedly happened the same night John Kunco was released from jail, according to the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review...
Massachusetts beach closed to swimming indefinitely after shark activity
Massachusetts beach closed to swimming indefinitely after shark activity

Truro Police announced on Friday night Long Nook Beach will remain closed to swimming until further notice due to continued shark activity. Recent shark sightings and even a shark attack on a man have prompted many beaches along the Cape to be on high alert. >> Read more trending news  Shark sightings have become commonplace along Cape Cod...
Youths take school bus on joy ride, police say
Youths take school bus on joy ride, police say

Police are searching for at least three youths who stole a school bus Saturday and took it on a joy ride before abandoning it in a field, officials said.  >> Read more trending news  A group of kids, whose ages have not been released, were seen at 12:30 p.m. driving the East Baton Rouge school bus, The Advocate reported. ...
Tent collapse injures 14 fans at Backstreet Boys concert
Tent collapse injures 14 fans at Backstreet Boys concert

Fans were injured when a storm caused a structure to collapse at a Backstreet Boys concert Saturday at the Winstar World Casino and Resort, officials said.  >> Read more trending news  A storm with nearly 80 mph winds knocked over trusses at the venue entrance injuring 14 fans inside the outdoor coliseum to see Backstreet Boys and 98...
Shooting survivor forced to sell business after robbery, family says
Shooting survivor forced to sell business after robbery, family says

Vipin Sharma visited his Arlington Expressway BP service station on Friday for the first time since he was shot in an armed robbery in July.  “Awesome," Sharma said. "I never thought I would be able to make it.” He told Action News Jax the bullet is lodged in his pelvis and he has a blood clot in his leg. >> Read...
More Stories