President Donald Trump’s incredibly expensive (and controversial) Veterans Day military parade won’t take place this year. In fact it has been pushed back to at least 2019, according to the Department of Defense.
“The Department of Defense and White House have been planning a parade to honor America's military veterans and commemorate the centennial of World War I,” Pentagon spokesman Col. Rob Manning said in a statement. “We originally targeted November 10, 2018 for this event but have now agreed to explore opportunities in 2019.”
The announcement came a few hours after it was revealed the parade, which was supposed to feature period uniforms, armored vehicles, and aircraft flyovers, would cost about $92 million.
1 in 8 of us is hungry ??— ?? Allison Berkowitz ?? (@SocialWorkItOut) August 16, 2018
1 in 10 lack insurance ??
8 in 10 have #debt ??
We don't have ?? to meet Americans' basic human needs, but we can put on a $92 million military parade? @realDonaldTrump seems to lack the ability to feel shame, but I'm deeply ashamed. #ThursdayThoughts pic.twitter.com/9C2o9Tvh76
President Donald Trump’s love for dictatorship-style shows of strength is nothing new, as he even used the bombing of Syria as “entertainment” for his Mar-a-Lago guests. But what is new is that his planned military parade will cost U.S. taxpayers exactly $80 million more than expected.
Quite an expensive demonstration of military might.
The new price tag was estimated by the Department of Defense and partners working on the parade, which is planned to take place on Nov. 10. But the information was leaked to the press by a defense official who remained anonymous.
The Washington, D.C., parade, which will feature period uniforms, armored vehicles, and aircraft flyovers is set to cost $92 million.
About $50 million will be spent by the Pentagon, while the remaining $42 million will be split between other agencies.
Part of the expenses include the cost of transportation of assets, security, and troops involved in the parade.
Trump is said to have drawn inspiration for the event from a military parade he witnessed while in France. But the event celebrated the country’s Bastille Day, or the French National Day, so a celebration was in order. However, while Trump talked to France President Emmanuel Macron about how much he enjoyed the event, he said he wanted to do something similar for Fourth of July.
"It was a tremendous day, and to a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4 in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue," the president said.
Apparently, he eventually became so eager to get this parade going that he couldn’t wait until next year.
Originally, the full cost was estimated at $12 million. So when the report with the new figure hit the web, social media users let the president know just how shocked and angry they were about his military parade’s price tag.
Someone needs to put a stop to this wasteful foolishness now.— Yvonne obzejta (@YObzejta) August 16, 2018
Fiscal conservatism at its best ?????— Chris Toler (@seatoler) August 16, 2018
Veterans without food, housing, or healthcare and you waste money. Will be so embarrassing when no one turns out to watch.— Carolyn Smith (@CarolynCl5s) August 16, 2018
$92 million for a single military parade. Remember when we Republicans cared about fiscal responsibility? https://t.co/GtJtdQjNq8— Evan Siegfried (@evansiegfried) August 16, 2018
Dear Trump— PoliticsVideoChannel (@politvidchannel) August 16, 2018
instead of spending $92 million on a military parade you can use that $92 million to buy new homes for Homeless Vets
As noted by CNBC, this parade and its cost appear to contradict Trump’s past comments about the importance of “not doing war games.”
Just prior to the Singapore summit, when the president shook hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, his administration canceled the bilateral military exercise with South Korea.
After the historic meeting, the president justified the cancellation by calling it expensive, adding that flying U.S. Air Force bombers in training missions is a drain on our resources.
"I think it's inappropriate to be having war games. No. 1, we save money. A lot. And No. 2, it really is something that I think they [North Korea] very much appreciated," he said at the time.
He also shared the sentiment on Twitter.
"We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith – which both sides are!" he wrote
We save a fortune by not doing war games, as long as we are negotiating in good faith - which both sides are!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 13, 2018
At the time, reports explained that the exercise was routine and would have cost less than one fighter jet, or approximately $14 million.
Trump would be wise not to brag about saving the taxpayer dime if he’s so eager to spend nearly $100 million on an unnecessary military parade. But then again, when was the last time the president was wise?
Banner and thumbnail image credit: Reuters/Kevin Lamarque