Trump Vowed Not To Run $400 Billion Deficits. Instead He’ll Run A $1 Trillion One.

WASHINGTON ― Fourteen months before he was elected president, Donald Trump vowed to make sure the country would never again run a $400 billion budget deficit.

“Well, he’s right about that,” laughed Capitol Hill budget veteran Stan Collender on Monday.

Because, as it turns out, Trump kept his promise ― only not in the way his supporters might have hoped.

In the first budget cycle fully under their control, Trump and the Republican-run Congress are likely to run a deficit that will top $1 trillion, some two-and-a-half times as big as the one Trump had complained about at his Sept. 30, 2015, rally in Keene, New Hampshire.

And given how sharply the just-passed tax cuts will reduce revenue in the coming years, those $1 trillion annual deficits could well extend through Trump’s remaining three-to-seven years in office.

“He tried to make it seem that he could cut taxes, raise spending and eliminate deficits all at the same time, to make it seem like he’s a miracle worker,” said Collender, a longtime former congressional budget committee staffer. “It’s impossible. People who believed him really don’t understand how things work.”

Avoiding $400 billion annual deficits was just one of several promises Trump made on the campaign trail regarding federal spending. Trump told conspiracy theorist Alex Jones in December 2015 that if the country didn’t “balance up” its budget soon, “we’re not going to have a nation anymore.”

And in a March 2016 interview with The Washington Post, Trump said he would not only eliminate annual deficits, but actually pay off the entire national debt ― at the time, $20 trillion ― within eight years.

But with a tax-cut plan that the Congressional Budget Office estimated will add $1.5 trillion to the deficit over the next 10 years and a new spending plan that will add another $400 billion or so, Trump is, indeed, adding to the problem, she said.

“They are catapulting us toward trillion dollar deficits,” she said. “The president has no interest in leading on hard choices.”

Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, said at a White House briefing Monday that the administration’s budget proposal is telling Congress that lawmakers don’t have to spend all the new money called for in the recent two-year government funding agreement that the president signed into law.

“We do not have to have trillion dollar deficits forever,” Mulvaney said.

According to critics, though, that is exactly what Trump and congressional Republicans have guaranteed. Trump’s own budget proposal, even relying on a 3-percent growth rate in the economy that many experts call unrealistic, projects a deficit of $969 billion next year unless Congress cuts programs.

“His budget has nothing to do with reality,” Collender said

“We’re looking at oceans of red ink as far as we can see,” said Jared Bernstein, once the top economic adviser to former Vice President Joe Biden.

Biden and President Barack Obama were hammered, year after year, by Republicans for running annual budget deficits and doubling the national debt ― even though they took office facing a deficit of $1.3 trillion in the depth of the financial crisis. In the coming years, it fell to as little as $438 billion before increasing again to $588 billion by the time Obama and Biden left office.

Trump’s trillion-dollar deficits will come in a strong economy, and could rapidly reach record levels in the event of a recession.

“We’ve seen the deficit hypocrisy ever since Obama left the White House,” Bernstein said. “Republicans love to cut taxes, but their constituents don’t want to lose the government services that they’re using.”

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.

Source Article from https://www.yahoo.com/news/trump-vowed-not-run-400-235519016.html

Total U.S. Household Debt Soars to Record Above $13 Trillion






Total U.S. Household Debt Soars to Record Above $13 Trillion


February 13th, 2018

Via: CNBC:

The American consumer is loading up on debt.

Total household debt rose by $193 billion to an all-time high of $13.15 trillion at year-end 2017 from the previous quarter, according to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Center for Microeconomic Data report released Tuesday.















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US wants $1 trillion upgrade of its nuclear arsenal because Russia

russia nuke

    

Provocatively and recklessly, the American Pentagon has recently accused Russia of threatening European allies with nuclear weapons. On the basis of this deplorable accusation, the US is embarking on a $1 trillion upgrade of its nuclear arsenal.

The American nuclear revamp not only puts it in potential violation of disarmament agreements; the move is also destabilizing nuclear forces and increases the risk of catastrophic global war.

If ever Washington’s reckless power politics were in doubt, this is surely the touchstone issue.

As with so many other allegations leveled by Washington against Russia – from election hacking to Olympic sports doping – the claim that Moscow is engaging in nuclear threats is far from evidenced. Indeed, one could say, it’s in the realm of fantasy.

But the insane claim is then used to justify Washington’s own reprehensible behavior.

In the Pentagon’s Nuclear Posture Review (NPR) published last week, US Defense Secretary James Mattis states in the document’s preface that “Russia’s seizure of Crimea and nuclear threats against our allies, mark Moscow’s decided return to Great Power competition.”

Mattis goes on to make other claims against Russia, including that it is in breach of arms controls treaties to reduce nuclear stockpiles. He also alleges that Moscow is using “non-strategic nuclear systems to provide a coercive advantage in crises and at lower levels of conflict,” and that Moscow is “lowering the threshold for first-use of nuclear weapons.”

At the same time, it was reported this week, even by US media, that Russia has fully complied with meeting its reduction targets for nuclear weapons prescribed by the 2010 New START accord.

In any case, the Pentagon’s anti-Russia accusations continue unabated. In particular, Washington claims that Russia has violated the 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty by developing short-range land-launched cruise missiles. Moscow has denied any violation. Again, Washington does not present evidence to verify its claims.

Presumably, what Washington is referring to is the installation by Russia of Iskander ballistic missiles in its exclave territory of Kaliningrad adjacent to the Baltic states and Poland. This is also what the Pentagon appears to be referring to when it accuses Russia of “threatening our allies”.

Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite – a notorious Russophobe and ardent NATO cheerleader – recently said that the Russian Iskanders in Kaliningrad (range 500km) were threatening “half of Europe”.

But hold on a moment. Kaliningrad is Russian soil. As Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov pointed out, it is Russia’s sovereign right to position any of its forces anywhere on its own territory.

NATO’s warped logic has also been applied in the case of Russian military holding exercises on its Western flank. Last year, when Russia held its Zapad defense drills there were hysterical claims from NATO and the Western media that Moscow was about to invade the Baltic region.

Meanwhile, it goes without a hint of irony, that NATO has increasingly built up its forces and military maneuvers along Russia’s Western borders over the past decade and more. Yet, Washington and its allies get away – thanks to Western media servility – with the double-think that such force build-up on Russia’s borders is “defensive”; while any counter-move by Russia from within its territory is distorted as “outrageous” and “offensive”.

Getting back to the issue of nuclear weapons and allegations of Russia’s threat, the stark conclusion from Washington’s warped logic is that Moscow is not allowed to have any nuclear weapons.

Evidently, the US-led NATO military alliance is permitted to station warplanes, warships, troops and tanks on Russia’s borders, including anti-missile systems – all in violation of past agreements. But if Russia positions defensive systems on its own territory then it is behaving provocatively, illicitly, and threateningly. Which then on the basis of this absurd claim allows Washington to expand its nuclear forces against Russia – as the Pentagon is proposing to do in its latest Nuclear Posture Review.

Specifically, Washington is committing to a “more flexible use” of nuclear weapons, and the development of new submarine-launched cruise missiles, as well as so-called “low-yield” ballistic warheads.

Such a move will potentially bring the US into severe breach of non-proliferation and arms control treaties. That is, the very malign behavior that Washington is provocatively accusing Moscow of.

Truly, Washington’s logic is an amalgam of Orwellian and Dr Strangelove.

Furthermore, an extremely sinister change in the American nuclear doctrine is its call for explicitly using “nuclear deterrence” in a scenario of conventional military conflict or, what it dubiously deems to be “new forms of aggression” by adversaries.

This is a highly dangerous move by the Pentagon to lower the trigger for deploying nuclear weapons – and on the basis of its faulty, politicized perception about what constitutes “aggression.”

For example, the US has repeatedly accused Russia of “hybrid warfare” with regard to the conflict in Ukraine. Russia is accused of instigating that conflict, when in reality, it was Washington and Europe’s meddling in the internal affairs of that country, resulting in a neo-Nazi coup in Kiev in February 2014.

The United States has continually accused Russia of engaging in “asymmetric warfare” from “cyberattacks” and “election interference”. Such claims have never been substantiated, let alone verified – yet they have been raised to the alarmist level of allegedly constituting a “national security threat”.

The anti-Russia political climate being whipped up by Washington – from “Russiagate” to cyberattacks, from sports doping to nuclear aggression – has reached the level of hysterical insanity where Russia by merely having a military defense system is now being traduced as somehow behaving criminally and offensively.

However, parlaying this perverse logic, the US is moving to increase its nuclear threats against Russia – in contravention of international agreements and any objective reasoning.

Even US media outlets like the Washington Post and US-based scientists warned this week that the new nuclear posture was a disturbing drift towards catastrophic war.

American history professor Colin Cavell, commenting for this column, said that the hegemonic mentality of the US ruling class is such that no other powers are tolerated to have weapons, even if for self-defense purposes.

Said Cavell: “The US is a capitalist society. It is the preeminent imperialist power in the world today. As such, those who rule the US perceive that maintaining a class-divided society to be of paramount concern. Internationally, this translates into maintaining at least a two-tiered international system where the US is master and the rest of the world are its servants. This will not change until capitalism is overthrown or destroys itself.”

This attitude of US rulers is ultimately tyrannical in their relations to the rest of the world. Ironically, American vice president Mike Pence this week accused North Korea of being “the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet.

With regard to Russia, the logic of the US is this: You are not allowed to have nuclear weapons, nor even a viable conventional defense system. We, on the other hand, are allowed to threaten you with increasing menace of nuclear annihilation until you do as we demand.

In short, supreme arrogance. But an arrogance that will bring its own downfall.

The views and opinions expressed by Finian Cunningham are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

Source Article from https://www.sott.net/article/376742-US-wants-1-trillion-upgrade-of-its-nuclear-arsenal-because-Russia

U.S. Treasury Set to Borrow Nearly $1 Trillion This Year






U.S. Treasury Set to Borrow Nearly $1 Trillion This Year


February 5th, 2018

Via: CNBC:

Don’t look now, but the U.S. government needs to borrow more money at exactly the wrong moment — when interest rates are spiking.

Last week, in a development first reported by The Washington Post, the Treasury Department quietly released data estimating its 2018 borrowing needs would check in at $955 billion, then top $1 trillion in the next two fiscal years. Those sums are considerably higher than last year’s $519 billion in debt issued last year, and an upward revision to estimates released by the Treasury in late 2017.















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Eurostat discovers that the EU has at least €12.5 TRILLION Debt



 


The 28 member states of the European Union (EU) have a total debt burden of €12.5 trillion, which could be even bigger, according to the latest figures from the EU statistics office, Eurostat.

Data shows that in the third quarter of 2017 the EU’s debt-to-GDP ratio fell from 82.9 percent to 82.5 percent when compared with the same quarter of the previous year. Greece’s general government-debt-to-GDP ratio was the highest in the eurozone, at 177.4 percent. It was followed by Italy (134.1 percent) and Portugal (130.8 percent).

Eurostat statistics are based on four broad categories of debt, which are guarantees issued by the state in relation to the liabilities of third parties. However, there are contingent liabilities which cannot be found in the official statistics. Those liabilities are not ‘hard’ debts but if even a small part of those guarantees was due to be repaid it would result in huge holes in the national budgets. This means there is accumulation of risks of which many are unaware.

“Under certain conditions, these contingent liabilities may become actual liabilities. Similarly, non-performing loans can mean a loss to the state if these loans are not repaid,” according to Eurostat.

“Thus, this data represents a further step towards greater transparency of public finances in the European Union, providing a more comprehensive picture of possible effects on Member States’ public finances.”

In all EU member states, liabilities related to off-balance public-private partnerships (PPPs), which are long-term construction contracts where assets are not recorded in government accounts, were below 4 percent of GDP.

The level of liabilities of public corporations classified outside general government differs widely across the bloc, the report said.

The unrecorded debts of PPP projects stand out in Slovenia and Portugal. Slovenia has the highest stock of non-performing loans (asset) of general government, at 5.9 percent of GDP.

The Eurostat report also noted that “in general, financial institutions report high amounts of debt liabilities; however they also have, at the same time, significant level of assets which are not captured in this data collection.”

According to a German daily newspaper Die Welt, the largest chunk of that unaccounted debt relates to the liabilities of state companies, such as Deutsche Bahn railway company in Germany.

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Germany Migrant Bill to Top a Trillion Euros



 


About 1.5 million refugees have arrived in Germany since 2015, prompting local authorities to allocate huge sums for migration-related issues. Speaking to Sputnik, Professor Bernd Raffelhuschen from the University of Freiburg specifically focused on the long-term costs of pensions and sickness insurance for migrants.

Sputnik: Mr. Raffelhyushen, can you name the approximate state expenditures caused by the inflow of migrants starting in 2015?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: We have yet to define the exact number of refugees who arrived in Germany between 2016 and 2017. But if you just imagine that these people are not highly skilled workers and that some of them are not young, you can clearly understand that during their lifetime, they will pay out far less than they expect to get in the form of social benefits. And the gap between this ranges from 350,000 euros to 450,000 euros per refugee throughout his life.

Sputnik: From 350,000 to 450,000 euros per refugee or migrant – how would you estimate this sum in terms of the entire state?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: The actual cost will stand at almost a trillion euros. But it will be distributed for many years, namely, until the moment when, to put it bluntly, the last migrant dies, turning into a hundred-year old man who will need social care. Each year, 20 billion euro will be spent on migrants [in Germany].

Sputnik: Are we talking about a temporary increase in expenses caused by an influx of migrants? Or will it be a permanent item of expenditure in the state budget given that all this pertains to pensions, health insurance and other migration-related issues?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: This is the very topic which is constantly hushed up during discussions. We have always talked about the cost of accommodating migrants and their short-term admission. But we did not say that if an average migrant at the age of 30 is engaged in low-skilled work for the rest of his life and if he needs five to six years to integrate, then he will definitely have to work till he turns 80 to receive a pension that will be larger than a social allowance.

Also, we failed to mention the fact that these people will be able to independently pay 20-25 percent of their health care expenses, while the rest will be paid by others. This is not due to the fact that they are foreigners or migrants, but because of the fact that they are engaged in low-skilled work.

Sputnik: It means that a decline in public debt may also be under threat in the long run?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: It depends on how we will react to it. We can refinance expenses on poor low-skilled migrants who will not have a real chance to become rich by reducing other expenses.

Or, of course, we can make new debts. The future – and above all the politicians of the future – will tell us how they are going to cope with this. They will not get out of the trap of debts or expenses because we have an absolutely and disproportionately generous social state in Germany. We cannot afford it – even for ourselves but we distribute it among a large part of immigrants. It is just not particularly sensible.

Sputnik: The economy has a partial argument – Germany needs manpower. Will the costs of immigration be compensated by acquisitions in the labor market someday?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: Definitely no, but a possibility remains. Immigration is not something that is bad; it is actually a positive moment. We earn a living by receiving qualified migrants and we really should try to intensify this process. We are a country of immigration, and we should keep it so. But we had to comply with an immigration rule which reads “do ut des” (that is, I give it so that you also give it), namely, we should give and take.

We need to keep an eye on the situation so that [only] qualified young migrants of childbearing age arrive in Germany.

Immigration on a random basis – just because the situation in Libya is almost identical to war, and the relevant people from southern Sahara have the opportunity to come – is a random migration that will not help us.

First and foremost, it is because these people are so low-skilled, that we simply cannot provide them with employment here. In addition, we do not have jobs for our own low-skilled workers.

Sputnik: And what about the humanistic idea mentioned by German Chancellor Angela Merkel in 2015?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: The humanistic idea stipulates that political asylum is granted to those who are persecuted for political reasons. But these people are not persecuted for political reasons.

The humanistic idea envisages that one should try to help poor countries get back on their feet without trying to provide people who live there with an acceptable life in Germany because it is a utopia. In Germany, these people will for a long time be among those who do not enjoy benefits.

Sputnik: In the state apparatus, all immigration creates new jobs. At the moment, the problem is simply that the state is unable to deal with each and every asylum request. How do you think the problem should be tackled?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: In Germany, the problem, of course, is that the only reason for immigration is providing asylum. The “green card” did not become the same phenomenon as the “blue card.”

But we have migration experience which – now we cannot but see it – was positive. That is, immigrants of the 1990s were integrated very well. This, in principle, was also the result of the situation in which the war was taking place. And this also sometimes added to creating jobs in the state apparatus.

Sputnik: You mean, first of all, migrants from former Yugoslavia and the former USSR?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: Yes. Those migrants were, in principle, integrated very easy. Migration from Poland also went very well and comfortably. Among other things, we have close cultural circles which are easily integrated, something that should be clearly understood.

Sputnik: Once again, let’s get down to the state apparatus – how one should resolve the problem pertaining to a lack of public servants? Should authorities hire them for a short time or train employees from other areas?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: It is clear that in the past three years, the state apparatus has increased as a result of an inflow of migrants. We need much more social workers and policemen and we should show a different approach to organizing public places in Germany.

Although all this was clear from the very beginning, it was quickly postponed because it requires huge expenses. The important thing is that there should be no recruitment for long terms because thinking that we will allow such events to happen again is an illusion. Even Chancellor Merkel says so.

Sputnik: Don’t you think that there we will see the same numbers again? Do you think that they will decrease?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: These figures will certainly be reduced. They shrink after each major wave [of migrants], and now they are also decreasing. But one thing is quite clear: a wave of migrants is followed by another one, and we must be ready for this. Because once again, it is not about isolating Europe. Germany or Europe is not rich enough to save the whole world again. When we earlier tried to do so, we often came to a standstill.

Sputnik: Can you briefly elaborate on how a possible new German government should tackle the refugee issue in the future?

Bernd Raffelhuschen: I expect the new government to try to intelligently grapple with the issue. I hope they will tell low-skilled workers: we have nothing to offer you, we cannot really integrate you and you will not be happy here. Also I hope that it will be absolutely clearly indicated that we are paying earnest attention to the external borders of Europe as well.

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Politico Predicts ‘Dire’ Results From Tiny Alcohol Tax Cuts, But Little Boost From $1.5 Trillion Tax Bill

At Politico, consistency has never been a strong point. Somehow, the just-signed tax law supposedly won’t have that much of an effect on Americans’ economic behavior, but there’s no doubt that the bill’s tiny cuts in taxes on alcoholic beverages will bring about disastrous results.

Concerning the new tax law on the whole, Politico’s Bernie Becker wrote the following on December 17 (bolds are mine throughout this post):

The next question is whether this bill will jolt the economy the way its supporters predict. Trump and other top Republicans have said that the economic growth created by the tax cuts will more than offset its current $1.456 trillion price tag.

Ben White was even more skeptical back in October:

Reality check on tax cut growth claims

Much of the GOP case for their tax cut effort is that it will unleash a decade of faster growth that will more than offset the cost of the bill and lead to millions of jobs and fatter paychecks. But what if that growth never materializes?

But on New Year’s Eve, the site’s Brian Faler relayed virtually certain predictions of “dire consequences” due to the bill’s reduction in alcohol taxes:

Tax cut on booze triggers fears of more abuse and drunken driving
Public-health advocates say the effects of the Republican tax law will be dire.

People hoisting a beer mug or tipping a champagne glass to ring in the New Year have an extra reason to celebrate: Congress just slashed taxes on alcohol for the first time in decades.

But public-health advocates fear the effects of the Republican tax law will be dire — more drunken driving, underage drinking and other alcohol-related programs.

They say Congress’s decision to cut alcohol taxes by 16 percent also contrasts with lawmakers’ treatment of cigarettes, a health threat they consider on par with alcohol, which has seen its levies climb nearly 1,500 percent since 1970.

“The cheaper alcohol is, the more people drink and the more they have alcohol problems, and there is a huge international literature that has shown that over and over and over,” said David Jernigan, head of the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth at Johns Hopkins University. “The public health ramifications of this continue to be invisible to policymakers.”

… Public health advocates say there is substantial academic research showing links between tax rates and alcohol consumption and argue, if anything, the levies ought to be increased.

I didn’t think so.

Now let’s read the next sentence from Faler carefully:

That translates to $1.6 billion in savings next year for MillerCoors; Diageo, the maker of such brands as Captain Morgan rum and Ketel One Vodka; and smaller beer and spirits operators that had pushed for the cut.

Faler should simply have written that the savings is for the entire alcoholic beverage industry. Instead, readers will think that only the entities listed plus the “smaller beer and spirits operators” will share the savings. Readers who work harder than they should have to can determine that the savings are industrywide. That’s because Faler reported that “Last year, taxes on wine, beer and liquor raised $10.6 billion,” and $1.6 billion divided by $10.6 billion is the reported 16 percent.

Continuing:

Beer makers now generally pay $18 per barrel, which translates to about 30 cents per six pack, though small producers pay $7 on their first 60,000 barrels. Beginning Jan. 1, brewers will pay $3.50 on the first 60,000 barrels, and $16 after that, up to 6 million barrels.

Pass the smelling salts.

A six-pack of beer might come down in price by a few pennies. Ignoring the small-production exemption, a $2 reduction in the $18 tax would translate to about 2.7 cents (30 cents times $2 divided by $18) per six pack. Given that six-pack prices start at about $5, and assuming that competition would cause the savings to be passed on to consumers, prices would come down by 0.54 percent or less.

There is also a 50-cent tax reduction on wine — per gallon.

The industry says that the tax reductions will give them the ability to invest more in their businesses and to hire more people. If they’re right, that would help the economy expand, and prices wouldn’t even fall by the minuscule amounts just discussed.

<<< Please support MRC’s NewsBusters team with a tax-deductible contribution today. >>>

So the message from Politico’s aggregate reporting appears to be that a cut in beer prices of a just a couple of tenths of a percent will lead to big increases in alcoholism and drunk-driving crashes, but an overall tax cut of about 1.5 percent of all income, amounting to hundreds or thousands of dollars per year for most Americans (and a much larger percentage cut in Americans’ tax bills) probably won’t accomplish much.

I won’t drink to that, because there’s very little chance that either claim is true.

Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.

Source Article from https://www.newsbusters.org/blogs/nb/tom-blumer/2018/01/01/politico-predicts-dire-results-tiny-alcohol-tax-cuts-little-boost-15

Trump Says US ‘Foolishly Spent’ $7 Trillion in the Middle East As He Spends $2 Billion a Day on War

Just one week after praising Congress for coming together to pass a bill that will ensure that the United States spends $2 billion a day on military spending in 2018, President Trump is now claiming that the U.S. “foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East,” even though he has only helped increase that amount.

Trump took to Twitter on Friday to claim that he foresees Republicans working with Democrats “in a Bipartisan fashion” at some point. “Infrastructure would be a perfect place to start,” he wrote. “After having foolishly spent $7 trillion in the Middle East, it is time to start rebuilding our country!”

However, while Trump is right about the fact that the United States needs to focus on its infrastructure, and that the U.S. has wasted trillions of taxpayer dollars in the Middle East, he seems to be forgetting the fact that just days before, he was celebrating the passage of a bill that will continue the U.S. government’s tradition of wasting massive amounts of money in the Middle East.

While Trump was not as vocal about the passage of the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act on Twitter, he did makes a few comments before signing the legislation at the White House. He referenced an attempted attack in New York City, where a man detonated a crudely-made pipe bomb in a subway station the day before. While the man who made the device was the only one injured, Trump used it as another example of why Americans should funnel billions of tax dollars into “keeping America safe.”

“Brand-new, beautiful equipment is on its way—the best you’ve ever had by far. We make the best in the world, and you’re going to have it,” Trump bragged in true Trump-fashion. He concluded by saying, “I won’t be showing all of this to everybody, believe it or not. That’s a lot of pages. That is a lot of pages.”

Included in the $700-billion budget for the 2018 NDAA is nearly $66 billion for the Overseas Contingency Operations fund, which ensures that the U.S. will continue to fuel proxy wars in nations such as Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The National Priority Project defined the fund as:

“The Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) fund—sometimes referred to as war funds—is a separate pot of funding operated by the Department of Defense and the State Department, in addition to their “base” budgets (i.e., their regular peacetime budgets). Originally used to finance the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, the OCO continues to be a source of funding for the Pentagon, with a fraction of the funds going to the State Department.

Since the OCO fund has very little oversight and is not subject to the sequestration cuts that slashed every other part of the budget in 2013, many experts consider it a ‘slush fund’ for the Pentagon.”

The 2018 military budget also allocates $634 billion for the Pentagon. This was done despite the fact that a recent report on the budgets of the Department of Defense and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, found that between the two departments, they have lost over $21 trillion in the last 17 years—enough money to pay back the U.S. National Debt.

While Trump criticized his predecessor for “foolishly” spending trillions of taxpayer dollars in the Middle East, the fact is that Trump has only upped the ante and increased military spending significantly, showing that he is only continuing what was started by the Bush and Obama Administrations. In 2018 alone, the United States’ military budget is $700 billion, which means American taxpayers will spend nearly $2 billion every day on war.

Source Article from http://thefreethoughtproject.com/trump-says-us-foolishly-spent-7-trillion-middle-east-spending-2-billion-day-war/