UPDATE: After a Pentagon spokesman said the parade would no longer happen this November and that the government would "explore opportunities in 2019," President Trump tweeted that he had "cancelled" the parade, saying "maybe we will do something next year in D.C."
Original story below:
Donald Trump's presidency may be a swampy mess of scandals, but he's getting at least one thing done: Whether you like it or not, he's putting on a fucking military parade in Washington goddamn DC. Veterans, including the Navy SEAL who killed Osama Bin Laden, don't like the idea, and it has been widely mocked by pundits. "There is only one person who wants this parade," a senior military official told NBC in June, but because that one person is the president, it's happening.
And now it's $80 million over budget, according to a report from CNBC citing an unnamed Defense department official:
The parade, slated for Nov. 10, is estimated to cost $92 million, the official said. The figure includes $50 million from the Pentagon and $42 million from interagency partners such as the Department of Homeland Security. An initial estimate last month pegged the prospective cost for the parade at $12 million.
That seems like a lot for a parade—the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade reportedly costs between $11 and $13 million, and a military parade at the end of the Gulf War clocked in at $8 million—but when you factor in security, paying the troops who will be marching down the street, and the transportation of all the military vehicles, it apparently really adds up. (The Pentagon had previously turned down requests to use tanks for the parade, citing worries they could damage the roads, but CNBC now reports that the parade will feature "approximately eight tanks" after officials concluded they wouldn't harm the capital's roads after all.)
It's worth noting that $92 million—which will be split between the Department of Defense and other agencies—is a drop in the massive inland sea that is the US military budget. Last week, Trump signed a spending bill that increased military spending by $61 billion, which is more than Russia's total military budget. And it's become increasingly clear that no one in DC really cares about overspending and the national debt except for like 17 think tank analysts. (Everyone else just vaguely waves in the direction of "fiscal discipline" when their political opponents want to spend money on something or cut taxes.)
Still, how does a parade budget jump from $12 million to $92 million? Why have a parade in the first place? Are we really putting on a huge production just because Trump saw a military parade in France and liked it? I guess the answer to the last question is yes, obviously. You can catch all of those taxpayer dollars at work on November 10. Mark your calendars. (UPDATE: Scratch that last bit.)
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