Trump's Ridiculous Military Parade Is Already Three Times Over Budget

Which is actually not too bad by Pentagon standards.


Sovfoto Universal Images Group/Newscom

[Update: After this story was published on Thursday, the White House announced that it would postpone the military parade until at least 2019. In a Friday morning tweet, President Donald Trump took credit for the cancellation and blamed the parade's high price tag on Washington, D.C., officials—a claim for which there is little supporting evidence.]

The absurd military parade that literally only one person wants to see happen this November will cost an estimated $92 million—more than three times what the White House initially said would be highest possible price tag for the event.

When President Donald Trump first pitched the idea of having the American military flex its way down Pennsylvania Avenue—after he returned from watching a Bastille Day celebration in Paris last year—his budget-makers said the whole thing could be done for no more than $30 million and possibly as little as $10 million. But like all defense spending, the budget for Trump's parade has ballooned to several times the initial projections, the Associated Press reports, citing an anonymous Pentagon official.

About $50 million of the parade's cost will cover the Pentagon's equipment, personnel, and other support, the AP source said. The rest will be used for security—because, yeah, you apparently have to spend $40 million to protect a parade of the world's most powerful, expensive, and well-equipped military from being attacked by terrorists during a six-block walk. Asymmetric warfare is a bitch, ain't it?

The AP also notes that the budget for the November 10 parade is not yet final and needs approval from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. In other words, the costs could still increase.

Even if the parade were going to cost nothing, it wouldn't be worth having. Marching a bunch of tanks through the capital city is something that should only happen in military dictatorships, dystopian movies, and France. This isn't something that stable, democratic countries should do, and it's certainly not something that American taxpayers should have to fund.

If this parade has to happen, it should be a celebration of the men and women who have fought so bravely during America's almost 17 year long War on Terror—and it should coincide with the ending of those largely unauthorized conflicts, as Rep. Justin Amash (R-Mich.) has suggested.

Short of that, it should not happen. Polls show that a vast majority of American military personnel are opposed to the idea of having such a parade. Presumably, the America they volunteered to risk their lives for isn't the type of place where this sort of thing happens. Others have pointed out the disgrace of holding the parade on the eve of Veteran's Day—a day that, ever since it was called Armistice Day, has been meant as somber remembrance of the horrors that war has inflicted, not as a celebration of the terrible tools used to kill, wound, and maim human beings.

Sure, $92 million is a drop in the bucket of federal spending—heck, it's not even 0.01 percent of the Pentagon's budget—but America is going to face trillion-dollar annual deficits over the next few years, and you can't start saving money until you stop wasting it on frivolous displays of militarism that accomplish nothing except tickling the president's jollies.

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  1. How about a peace parade? We can have floats representing each country the U.S. military occupies.

    1. FFS, that would take forever. Can’t we just have a Coming Soon parade and have one float for each country we don’t occupy?

      1. That would be legitimizing North Korea and Iran.

  2. Trump’s Ridiculous Military Parade Is Already Three Times Over Budget

    Don’t worry. I’m sure Trump is going to grab that problem by the pvssy. And finger it while he’s at it. And finger all of us at the same time. And invite some ‘fine people’ to bring banners and other colorful pageantry materials. But only if they’re built in America.

  3. It is a lot of money. But in the scheme of the entire government, it is really a pretty small price to pay to drive people like the Reason staff insane. The military parade is nothing but a giant FU to the denizens of the I-95 corridor. Trump’s supporters will love it.

    1. Re: John,

      Trump’s supporters will love it.

      Local supporters of every petty tyrant in the world love those military parades.

      1. We are talking about the US not Mexico dude. Pay closer attention.

        1. Petty tyrants (and those who want to be them) parade military machines like this. FFS, I consider the damn overflights for NASCAR, etc to be inappropriate. I never even like Fleet Week. Keep this sort of thing to airshows and the equivalent. Goosestepping soldiers and parading missile trucks down past the White House as The Great Leader looks on approvingly is crap.

          1. So, Macron s a petty tyrant? Or desires to be one?

            Wow–who knew, well, except for you woke people, you know everything, right?

            It’s so weird how none of you have ever made this point about the Bastille Day parades before. Where is the decades of outrage at these military parades?


            Just another ‘It’s bad when Trump does it’ thing.

    2. Still stupid and tacky. But typical trump.

      I didn’t realize that this was actually scheduled.

      1. Until it happens, Trump might just be trolling Lefties.

        1. That’s what Ryan said about hissy-fit revocation of security clearances.

          Trump wants the parade. It will make him feel like a man, and he has needed that since it became apparent that LeBron can have Melania — any way he wants, whenever he wants — with a snap of the finger.

          LeBron should take one for the team just so the recording can be circulated among Trump’s supporters.

          1. “I really don’t care. Do U?”

            Melania’s jacket.

            1. Was that aimed at the press corps and misinterpreted as at the kids?

        2. Trump feels military dont get enough respect and he thinks a parade will remedy that.

          1. It’s a good way to spit in the eye of the leftist media culture that sneers at any show of patriotism. Oh how this is agonizing anathema to them.

            That in itself makes it worth the money.

            1. 92 mill for a spite parade to support your petty gripes? Are you a Libertarian?

    3. I support a bunch of what Trump has done and Lefties getting upset over 1/1000 of what they want spent on Social Security makes me laugh, but its a waste of money.

      1. So, I can’t figure you and John out. Are y’all against the government pissing away money or not? Does it not count if it’s done by people you like? I mean, either way the money is circling the drain……

        1. I said that I am against it for being a waste of money.

          What else do you want retard?

        2. They use a complex formula for deciding if it’s OK. First, does the person have an (R) after his name? And well that’s pretty much it.

        3. If the project wastes taxpayer money then Democrats are for it.

          1. Except they’re ostensibly not.

    4. You’re an amoral psychopathic shit, John.

      1. That’s quite something coming from a sociopath such as yourself, Stupid Tony.

    5. Goobers like John should have their fun while it lasts.

      It appears having their liberal and libertarian betters push progress down their throats for 50 years has created a resentful underclass of bitter, seething, unaccomplished, can’t-keep-up, bigoted, authoritarian right-wing yahoos. They have been clinging to guns and religion, largely unnoticed by people who built better lives and communities with education, modernity, achievement, tolerance, and progress.

      Let these yahoos have a banana republic’s military parade. Like a handful of street pills, it might help the goobers get through another desolate day in left-behind, red state America.

      Carry on, clingers. With gold trim, epaulettes, and things that go boom!

      1. It appears having their liberal and libertarian betters push progress down their throats for 50 years has created a resentful underclass of bitter, seething, unaccomplished, can’t-keep-up, bigoted, authoritarian right-wing yahoos.


      2. So, France, the inspiration for all this, is a ‘banana republic?

        Do you even listen to yourself, hillbilly? A piece of shit piece of trailer trash like you denigrating France?

        You think Europeans are beneath you?

        The only thing beneath you is that cow college that traded you a ‘degree” in exchange for a meth-laced blowjob.


    6. The vitriol towards any show of patriotism from the Reason staff, amd lets be honest, a lot of the commentariat, is telling.

  4. literally only one person wants to see happen

    That’s not true.


    1. It’s jackasses all the way down.

    1. The Whale Testicle is better than an IPA

      1. Agreed.

    2. What the hell do you have against hops?

    3. IPAs are the only real beer

    4. “It’s made with the purest spring water”

      Which is then mixed with a whale testicle that has been smoked over a sheepshit fire. Frankly, I don’t think the purity of the water can make up for it.

    1. Nobody wants to listen to him anymore, but Bill Cosby summed it pretty well: “children have brain damage”. It’s important to Bernie to make that permanent if possible [but at a minimum skew the bell curve with delayed development] which is what “free college” is all about – bombard tweenagers with bull one last time before brain development becomes mature with noise such as womens studies etc. Some will take umbrage on account of working hard for such degrees, but digging ditches is hard work too [with no place in secondary curriculum]. Even the obsessively politically correct UK has been shutting down much of this uselessnes starting in 2005 at London Metropolitan University, and actions continue elsewhere.

    2. I’m susceptible to Cylon #6

      1. I’m even more susceptible to two or three Sixes at the same time. And if they do each other, it’s masturbation and not lesbianism, right?

  5. I love a parade!


  6. Trump wants to be just like Lil’ Jung-Un and Putin.

    And he is doing it.

    1. You mailed that one in.

    2. Excellent insight. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if Putin personally told him to do it.


      1. Jesus, man you, relax! The Constitution stipulates that defense is the one area that is mandated as a duty of the government. So any amount that we spend on awesome parades and missiles that kill Poor people is ok. Libertarianism isn’t anarchy. It’s spending money on things we care about. Commies like you just don’t get it.

    3. Don’t you mean he wants to be more French?

      1. Well he certainly acts like he wants to be Napoleon.

    4. PB, the fact that you think this is equivalent really showcases so much of what is wrong with you, and why you are so loathsome.

    5. Lame far left talking points. What a partisan Jamoke! SMH

      He got the idea from Macron, who is more of a pajama boy.

      Update: It has been postponed for a year.

  7. after he returned from watching a Bastille Day celebration in Paris last year?

    So the man’s a Europhile.

    1. Haven’t the cosmotarians been telling us for years how we should be more like the Europeans?

  8. barely more than 1/10th of 1% of the Pentagon’s budget, not 1%.

    1. Jesus, 1/100th of 1%, correct my own correction.

      1. Still, I can’t imagine how they are spending so much on this. The Macy’s Thanksgiving parade is estimated to cost $13 million. How are they spending seven times the amount on a substantially smaller event when they are already paying the salaries of everyone involved?

        1. Heavy equipment and flight hours, I assume.

        2. It takes a lot more helium to make the M1A2s float.

          1. Ok, that wins.

            Seriously, I can’t imagine they would use tracked vehicles on city streets. Even with rubber caps they would be hell on them. Assume we’ll just see strykers.

            1. And bitch out in front of the whole nation? He’d be the laughingstock of every red-blooded American in… uh, America. Besides, what’s the worst that could happen?

        3. Security for Antifa.

          When they try and molotov the parade, Antifa will need security to protect them from Army tankers driving over them.

          1. Antifa will need security from all the veterans there that have had enough of their shit. I would certainly enjoy indulging in serial hippie beatdowns of those fucking little Marxist pussies.

      2. Perhaps they can use tariff proceeds to cover the bill.

    2. If it’s that small of a deal, then I’ll just take half. No one will notice.

  9. a day that, ever since it was called Armistice Day, has been meant as somber remembrance of the horrors that war has inflicted, not as a celebration of the terrible tools used to kill, wound, and maim human beings

    Well, when are we supposed to celebrate them, then, huh?

    1. The 364 days of the year?

      1. Close, but still one too short.

  10. well it is expensive to drag an aircraft carrier down the street what do you expect.

    1. Only bring one that has beautiful steam catapults.

  11. Is that more costly than a border wall? How will the parade help the economy?
    Yet another crazy priority!

    1. It’ll make America grrrreat!

      1. Grrrreat satire!

    2. Hihn, aren’t you due in hospice?

  12. “About $50 million of the parade’s cost will cover the Pentagon’s equipment, personnel, and other support, the AP source said. ”

    I don’t get it. Are we planning to actually blow shit up? Do we pay soldiers overtime?

    1. “Do we pay soldiers overtime?”


  13. I’d like to see Trump cancel it after he gets the budget just like he did when he got the budget for the new airforce one just like Obama did after he got the budget for the new helicopter one

  14. The Navy used to have Fleet Week and uses Blue Angels for PR.

    The Air Force has the Thunderbirds.

    The Army has their parachute team.

  15. The AP also notes that the budget for the November 10 parade is not yet final and needs approval from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. In other words, the costs could still increase.

    Yeah, but it could also decrea- BWAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!111!!!!!!!

    Sorry, I couldn’t finish typing that before I busted out laughing. Now my co-workers are looking over at me wondering what’s so funny.

    1. Must be nice to have a job where you don’t have to work . . . govt. employee?

      1. Defense contractor, so close enough. And it took all of 5 minutes to make that comment and this one.

        Must be nice to be a humorless scold… old retard?

        1. Thought so, on the taxpayers dime.

          1. Get an education, WJack. Start with standard English, rube.

            1. That’s quite something coming from an uneducated high school dropout like you Arty. How,does it feel to be my inferior in every meaningful sense?

              No wonder you’re such an angry little ineffectual bitch.

  16. So who’s going to explain to the president why an aircraft carrier can’t be part of the parade down Pennsylvania Avenue?

    1. Explain, hell. How to CONVINCE!

    2. I’d be happy to provide the drawings to show how an aircraft carrier can be towed down the street but it will cost millions and probably a few delays but thats how all government expentitures work. Isn’t it?

      1. Will your drawings show how to get the carrier out of the water?

        1. Of course they can but that will take longer and was not part of the original bid

          BTW I see Trump has canceled the parade

  17. I’m so outraged!

    1. Imagine if it were Obama. Are you capable of that? Are you capable of imagination at all?

      1. Imagine there’s no Tony. It’s easy if you try.

        1. Evasion much?

          1. Hihn, you need to focus on expediting your hospice.

  18. Kremlin style military parades down Red Square. I’m sure the Trumptarians are creaming themselves with glee.

  19. Wow! More hatred for Trump than seems possible, or for that matter justified, but then most of the posts here seemed to have been authored by victims of fundamentally clueless anti- American progressive educators.

    1. Go back to trolling the Federalist.

  20. Like any successful peddler of shoddy goods, Trump knows his audience with exquisite precision.

    Half-educated, never-been-to-the-big-city goobers of all ages love a parade with big guns, uniforms, and loud noises!

    1. Poor Arthur, such a limited vocabulary, but then he is one of the victims pointed out above.

      1. The mother who homeschooled you or sent you to backwater religious schools was a dope, WJack.

        1. And you are a pathetic bigot who obviously didnt have a mother wise enough to raise you properly. But whats your point?

          1. S/he raised Artie proper.

            Artie’s the best little whore at the crack house–that’s right crack, just like all the big city skanks, not that redneck meth garbage.

            And he tucks it deep up his ass, for a special treat for the repeat customers, just like his papaw taught him.

            Ain’t that right?


      2. WJack, Arty is a high school dropout. Due to his menial job working for a wealthy conservative he has developed a pathological hatred rooted in deep seated envy of his conservative betters.

  21. Normal people come back from France with a newfound appreciation for wines and cheeses.

  22. Libertarians and liberals should maintain an accounting of these foolish expenditures, then use the total to justify the closure of a military base in a dependent rural, Republican community. The procession of equipment and economic hope leaving that doomed community would be another fine parade!

  23. A poll of readers does not equal “service members”

    Veterans day has never been a “somber remembrance” of the horrors or war. That would be Memorial Day.

    1. Of course, Reason does not know difference between veterans day and memorial day.

      They probably all say Happy Memorial day around the office.

  24. But look at those missiles.

    Man, I wish I could have a Hellfire missile. That would be so fuckin cool.

  25. While I would have preferred that we not spend money on a military parade, the duty of the government is to protect its citizens from attack and, as such, is clearly spelled out in the Constitution’s foundational document, which is unquestionably libertarian.

    1. The greatest defense this nation has is the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. If an enemy wanted to invade us it would take a floatilla of ships the likes of which this world has never seen and a massive army that doesn’t exist to get the job done. All our country really needs is a strong coast guard.

      1. What about the exicans-may apists-ray?

        1. The population of Texas has more firepower than the Mexican army. And we love their drugs so much, there wouldn’t be any reason why Mexico would want to disrupt what I am guessing is the largest black market (Mexico-US drug trade) in the entire world.

    2. Trumpster expects an attack on the parade route!

      1. You know he’s a paradox acocunt right?

        Now get your ass to hospice.

  26. Not to quibble, but $92M is more than 0.01% of the military budget of $716B recently passed by Congress. It would be an even higher proportion of earlier, smaller budgets. I suppose if related “off budget” amounts were included in this quotient, then that share could drop below one basis point. The larger issue by far is the act itself, not the expense. It’s really beyond the pale.

    Not having posted anything here before, I looked at the previous 80-something comments, and I guess facts and math aren’t really part of the milieu … LOL … a lot of you guys are ravers! Well, OK then, rave on!

  27. It’s 0.0128%, so when rounding to the hundredths, it would be 0.01%.

    So, while yes, you are technically/pedantically correct, the number quoted is also correct in the context it was used.

    1. If one is going to quote numbers, they should be correct. I’d agree if he said 0.01%, but he said less than 0.01%, so it’s off by over 28%. You can call that pedantic, and I suggested it’s a quibble myself. But as Cuomo once said, “Number are numbers. I mean, they’re numbers!”

  28. Wasn’t there someone here who doubted that God’s Own Prohibitionists were the same thing as carpet-biting nationalsocialists? This may be a good time to revive the Libertarian Defense Caucus and make recommendations for shrinking the military budget now that Soviet Altruria is de-fanged.

  29. Apparently the event which was ostensibly to honour veterans and the centenary of the end of WWI has now been postponed to a more convenient year with no association with the Great War, in honour of the President.

  30. Sounds normal by DC standards. Nothing new here.

  31. If the parade were to feature and honor veterans it would be great, and worthwhile. Minimal military equipment, maybe a half track from WW2, Jeep from Korea, Huey from Nam, etc. Lots of old warriors marching or riding or being pushed in wheelchairs.

    But I’m afraid Trump hasn’t got enough imagination for that.

  32. Sweet he looked at the cost and saw it was outlandish and unnecessary.

    Now do the military budget next.

    The constant lies that our military has been gutted and we are outdated because O didn’t spend enough money on it is nothing but hogwash for the low IQ voters to eat up. Honestly would have been a feather in his cap if he DID defund the military appropriately, but like every other president, he continued to let the pentagon write their own checks and give them every cent they asked for.

  33. DRAFT-DODGERS likeTrump, have a Fascination with all thingy things Military, and the Military. Is a Conscience problema they have ’cause in their heart of hearts they know very well they are indeed DRAFT-DODGERS. This Fascination and Enamoring they have with the Military, is a way to try to soothe their souls, and placate their consciences. But their friends, relatives, and neighbors from back in the days know them well. Trump is indeed a DRAFT-DODGER.

  34. [Update: After this story was published on Thursday, the White House announced that it would postpone the military parade until at least 2019. In a Friday morning tweet, President Donald Trump took credit for the cancellation and blamed the parade’s high price tag on Washington, D.C., officials?a claim for which there is little supporting evidence.]

    Well, I mean Trump is a Washington D.C. official and he probably did up the price tag and thus he should take the credit…I think the dog just got wagged by the tail.


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