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President Trump’s military budget will make us poorer and less secure

Rev. Jesse L. Jackson | 3/1/2017, 2:47 p.m.
I watched President Trump’s address to Congress tonight with several families at the homeless shelter where they live in San ...

I watched President Trump’s address to Congress tonight with several families at the homeless shelter where they live in San Francisco. He didn’t address their plight, their poverty, their hopes and dreams for their children. Instead he talked about repealing a program – the Affordable Care Act – that has kept millions of Americans healthy and out of bankruptcy and poverty. Instead he talked about wasting billions of tax dollars and good will on building a “Great Wall” on our southern border. Instead he bragged about “one of the largest increases in military spending in history.”

President Trump’s budget proposal dramatically increases defense spending by $54 billion (military Keynesianism); drastically decreases domestic spending; massively reduces taxes for the rich and big corporations; unjustly cuts programs for the middle class, workers and the poor; will result in few jobs, no rebuilding of America, massive increase in deficits and the national debt.

We already spend more on the military than the next seven countries combined. We’re not militarily weak. We’re diplomatically weak and will get weaker if President Trump gets his way. He wants to cut the State Department budget by 30 percent to help pay for his military ambitions. State and Defense departments should be more balanced and work hand in glove. Fewer diplomats will result in more bullets and dead bodies – many of them our sons and daughters.

President Trump’s defense budget will make us poorer and less secure. Claiming it will do anything else is fake news.

He began the speech by mentioning Black History month. But he never addressed the issue of rising black poverty or race discrimination or police abuse. He didn’t talk remedies. He just acknowledged the month.

His tone may have been slightly more unifying but the substance and policies were still divisive. His words may have sounded more optimistic, but his budget is very dark, pessimistic and not uplifting. He is President of all Americans, but tonight he mainly spoke (again) to his supporters and

offered little to Democrats or Independents – so much for bringing the country together.

Rev Jesse Jackson Sr. is Founder and President Rainbow PUSH Coalition