Trump military agenda could cost nearly $700B extra over 10 years

President Trump’s military agenda may cost the United Stated an extra $683 billion over the next 10 years.

A Feb. 5 Congressional Budget Office report takes into account the cost of Trump’s plans to expand the military during his time in office compared to the Obama administration’s plans.

Trump’s goals include increasing the Navy fleet to 355 ships. The current naval fleet is 279 and is planned to reach 308.

The goals increase Army end strength from 460,000 to 540,000, add five more fighter squadrons to the Air Force and increase Marine Corps end strength by 13,000.

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The military would need at least $342 billion to reach those goals. Additionally, the military would spend an extra $50 billion annually by 2027 to maintain those goals.

The increase in Navy ships would cost $20 billion per year and would continue to grow, the larger Army would cost $22 billion a year and the extra Air Force squadrons would cost $8 billion a year.

Other funds would go toward rebuilding readiness, which is an explicit goal of Defense Secretary James Mattis.

Congress already added some funds to rebuild readiness in 2017 when it passed a $15 billion supplemental to fund wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. The budget supplemental was half of what Trump requested.

One issue the Trump administration will face when trying to convince Congress to pay for its military agenda is sequestration.

The cost of implementing the administration’s goals through 2021 will exceed the caps by nearly $300 billion.

The 2018 defense budget already goes past the caps by $54 billion. Congress has yet to actually pass the defense appropriations bill, even though it is a quarter of the way through the fiscal year.

Some media outlets have reported that the Trump administration is preparing a $716 billion defense budget for 2019.

The CBO report also points out that DoD’s defense budget may be deflated compared to the actual cost.

The report notes the costs of developing and buying weapons have been on average 20 to 30 percent higher than DoD’s initial estimates.

Furthermore, compensation costs for military personnel have rapidly increased since 2000.

Also complicating matters is the operation and maintenance per active-duty service member has been increasing since 1980.

“These internal pressers in DoD’s budget create mismatches between the future years defense plan and cost of DoD’s plans,” the report stated.

CBO predicts the Navy’s shipbuilding program will cost more than the service estimates and the plan will fall short of meeting the Navy’s inventory goal for some types of ships.

CBO puts the possible budget increases in context with larger budget data. The deficit is predicted to increase steadily over the next 10 years reaching more than 5 percent of the gross domestic product.

Additionally, the national debt will rise to nearly 150 percent of the GDP by 2047. By that time 21 percent of total spending by the United States will be in interest on debts, the report stated.