Donald Trump carries on the Republican tradition of pretending to “support our troops,” and regularly refers to his support among the military as well as how he somehow strengthened the military more than any other president. This is a bit hard to believe, as Trump may be the first president in recent memory to take money directly from military families – and certainly the only one to use that money to build a racist vanity project.
Among the money earmarked by the administration is half a billion dollars to be spent on elementary schools located on military bases, as well as a child care center at Andrews Air Force Base and updates to a fort in Arizona with unsafe working conditions. Altogether, these projects will account for $3.6 billion of Trump’s border wall – a project that would cost at least $18 billion by conservative estimates.
Republicans in Congress proposed to use backfill funding to keep the projects going – part of their spending package for next year, which would go to the Defense Department as replenishment money, funds that the administration plans to raid again next year, according to administration officials who spoke to the Washington Post last week.
A number of these projects are happening in states where Republican senators are running for re-election next year, and in several cases, particularly vulnerable ones like Martha McSally, Cory Gardner and Thom Tillis, who voted against vetoing Trump’s national emergency declaration. If the administration continues to take the funds, they couldn’t have chosen a worse moment to do it – leaving voters a reminder of how the Republicans voted against the safety and security of the troops, and Republican politicians a reminder of how Trump offers them nothing in return for their loyalty.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making