You can’t build the Empire and drain the Swamp at the same time. That’s because the Swamp is largely the fruit of Empire. And it’s also the reason that the Donald is being steadily undone.
Indeed, it is the Empire’s $791 billion national security/international affairs budget which feeds Washington’s vast complex of weapons suppliers, intelligence contractors, national security bureaucrats, NGOs, think tanks, K-street lobbies, so-called “law” firms and all-purpose racketeers.
It is this beehive of government payrollers which keeps mission creep, threat inflation and demonization of foreign adversaries and enemies alive; it’s also what accounts for the Imperial City’s unseemly and ill-gotten prosperity.
Needless to say, under the Donald the gravy train has been growing like topsy. To wit, spending in FY 2020 for defense, security assistance, foreign aid, international affairs and the rest of the Warfare State complex will be up by $150 billion or 23% from the already vastly bloated levels ($641.7 billion) just five years ago in FY 2015.
It goes without saying that the number one priority of these denizens of Empire is to keep the gravy train rolling by inventing far-flung and misbegotten missions designed to extend and reinforce Washington’s global hegemony.
As we have demonstrated elsewhere (Peak Trump, chapter 18), by contrast, a true homeland security defense budget would consist of the strategic nuclear triad and modest conventional forces to defend the nation’s shoreline and air space; it would cost about $250 billion per year plus a few $10 billion more for a State Department which practiced actual diplomacy and minded its own business.