President Donald Trump’s military parade this fall is expected to cost $92 million total, which is $80 million more than initially estimated, CNBC reports.
The Department of Defense, along with its partners, has updated its cost estimates for the parade, according to a U.S. defense official briefed on the matter. In an email to CNBC, a Pentagon spokesman confirmed the information, adding that the Defense Department expects to make an official announcement soon.
To be held on November 10, the parade was initially estimated to cost “only” $12 million. The new figure of $92 million estimated costs total includes $42 million from interagency partners such as the Department of Homeland Security and $50 million from the Pentagon.
The new estimate includes funding for aircraft, troops, and transportation of parade assets. However, the size and the scope of the parade could still shift, according to CNBC’s Pentagon source.
As CNBC noted, the U.S. has not held a major military parade in Washington since 1991. The early 1990s parade, held to mark the end of Operation Desert Storm, cost approximately $8 million and was paid mostly by private donations.
According to the same outlet, the upcoming November 10 parade was inspired by France’s Bastille Day military parade which the POTUS had attended. Clearly impressed by the French parade, Trump called it “beautiful,” adding that the United States “may do something like that.”
In a column for the American Conservative, historian Andrew J. Bacevich wrote critically of the parade, calling it “yet one more expression of the president’s narcissism,” arguing that military parades are a waste of time and money, pointing out that parades used to be thrown to honor victories, while Trump’s is a “parade-without-a-victory.”
“In the endless wars since 9/11, we have lost sight of that principle. Our wars have become purposeless, a fact that American elites and the American people appear to find acceptable. Having a parade to honor a military that does not win and that the country has consigned to endless campaigning in distant theaters seems somehow oddly appropriate.”
As the Business Insider noted earlier this year, the Republican Party under President Trump is not a party of fiscal conservatism. The tea party wave that has managed to reshape the GOP seems to have died down, BI noted, and the Trump administration does not shy away from ushering in big spending.
“When Republicans are in power, there is no conservative party,” Senator Rand Paul said in February this year, according to Real Clear Politics, criticizing the Trump administration’s budget deal and diagnosing what appears to be a cause of divide among conservatives in the United States: a ubiquitous absence of fiscal conservatism in Washington.
New York Times columnist David Leonhardt went a step further, observing that the Democratic Party has, ironically, become the party of fiscal responsibility.