Trump’s Military Parade Could Cost up to $30 million: Budget Chief

Critics have ridiculed the idea of a costly display of troops and weapons at a time when the Pentagon is struggling to cover the expenses of training, support and personnel.

Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney / REUTERS

(Reuters) — The military parade that President Donald Trump wants to stage, likely in Washington, would cost U.S. taxpayers up to $30 million, the White House budget chief said on Wednesday in remarks on the administration’s fiscal 2019 spending plan.

Mick Mulvaney, who in a congressional hearing continued a broad defense of the $4.4 trillion plan he began earlier this week, was asked about the parade, which Trump’s spending plan does not break out as a specific item.

“The estimates I’ve seen, they’re very preliminary, is between $10 million and $30 million, depending upon the length,” said Mulvaney, director of the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB). “Obviously an hour parade is different from a five-hour parade in terms of the cost and the equipment and those types of things.”

According to media reports, Trump came up with the idea of showing off U.S. military might after a 2017 trip to France when he and French President Emmanuel Macron reviewed that country’s defense forces marching down the Avenue des Champs-Elysees in Paris.

Trump ordered the Defense Department to look into a comparable display of military might that he could review.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last week he believed Trump wants Washington to host the parade but left open the possibility that it could be staged elsewhere.

Critics have ridiculed the idea of a costly display of troops and weapons at a time when the Pentagon is struggling to cover the expenses of training, support and personnel.

Democratic Rep. Barbara Lee questioned Mulvaney at a House of Representatives Budget Committee hearing about the costs. She noted, “You know the parade is very similar to those held in authoritarian countries like North Korea.”

Mulvaney said at the hearing, “We’ve actually had many military parades in this country before. I think we had one as recently as the 1990s, and maybe one more recently than that.”

Ahead of Mulvaney’s testimony, Republican committee Chairman Steve Womack asked about the deficit impact of Trump’s spending plan. Mulvaney faced similar inquiries earlier this week.

At a Senate panel hearing on Tuesday, he was asked if he would vote for the Trump spending plan if he were still in Congress, which he was before Trump hired him to run OMB.

“I probably would have found enough shortcomings in this to vote against it,” Mulvaney said at the time.

On Wednesday, Mulvaney walked that back, telling the House panel he thought he had been asked not about Trump’s budget, but about a narrower two-year spending-caps deal.

“I read in the newspapers this morning that someone reported that I wouldn’t support this budget if I were in Congress. That is absolutely false,” Mulvaney said. “I absolutely, without reservation, support this budget.”

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  • He believes we have had other parades in recent past. I wish he could be more specific because other than military members or retirees participating in local parades, I can’t recall one to the magnitude of what Pres Trump is seeking. Personally, as a Vet, I think it is a waste of money and would prefer to see the money directed towards my brothers and sisters who are still sleeping in the streets.

    • Same here. Food, shelter, training, education, medical and psychiatric help, not troops marching through the streets of a country that was founded on the defeat of an oppressor’s standing army.

      Oh, and by the way, the greatest military parade our nation has ever had was the end of the Civil War. The titular leader of white supremacy (and our nation’s most senior draft dodger and whore master) wants a parade. It’s disgusting.

  • In addition to the cost – the whole glorification of a military approach is a continuation of mis-focus on what is heroic. Heroic is everyday actions, by people including women in families, who work to provide a climate of care and beauty. Those people’s day to day efforts through all kinds of challenges from society and systems, as well as nature – seem dull and uniniteresting compared to bright uniforms on young, well groomed people – use of pomp and glamor to lead – instead of focusing on helping and empowering and celebrating hidden people who work to survive and help others survive, daily.

  • Mick Mulvaney is an idiot T-rump mouthpiece that needs a scandal to bounce his looser tail out of DC and back to the hole he came out of!

  • Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

    Trump yearns for the glory of being a combat veteran, without ever taking the risks. This is a shameless masturbatory fantasy of his, and anybody who votes for it should be deeply ashamed of themselves for wasting money that could be put to good uses instead.

  • This is outrageous why not help our Vets with their all their needs as well as our aging population that has help build this country.

  • Yep, go on and plan to have a parade for the wannabe autocrat while the Country recovers from yet another public school’s mass murders.

  • The thought that our 5 time draft dodging president wants a military parade to make him feel like some sort of big man is ludicrous and disgusting. Our money would be much better spent on getting our true heroes – the veterans themselves – getting them better health care, physical and mental alike. You want to spend all this extra money, then do a complete overhaul of the VA health care system. Get our troops the equipment they need to do their jobs as safely as possible both before and after deployment. Stop competing with N. Korea in a childish game of mine is bigger than yours. It will not end well for anyone.

    • It’s interesting to me that nobody wants to see it for what it really is – if bombs work, we would need them anymore because we’ve dropped more bombs are more people in any country in the history of humankind.

      A military parade is simply evidence of human failure.

  • If you really care about the military, DO NOT give them more work to do. They would like a day off once in a while, too. This is just a really horrible waste of time and manpower. But hey, we could do like Stalin used to do; Just use a few troops and tanks etc. and make them walk around the block several times. Everyone will think they are seeing a whole bunch of people and gear, but like all trump sales stories, it will be pure fairytale. —We can’t find a better way to spend our tax money?

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