President Trump's desired military parade, previously blasted as wasteful and unnecessary, will cost $92 million — 666 percent more than the original estimate.
Now penciled in for Nov. 10, the parade has been on Trump's must-do list since his state visit to France in 2017, where he was impressed by a Bastille Day military procession. The original estimate for an American equivalent was $12 million, Military Times reported in July.
The current plan is for the Pentagon to cover $50 million of the cost, with the Department of Homeland Security picking up $42 million, an official told CNBC today, adding that an official announcement was forthcoming.
The $92 million tab (for now) will cover aircraft, troop salaries, security and transportation of vehicles used in the parade. It is scheduled to include eight tanks and other armored vehicles, including Bradleys, Strykers and M113s. There will be helicopter, fighter jet, transport aircraft and historical military plane flyovers, while troops in period uniforms "representing the past, present and future forces" will march, reports CNBC.
The prospective event has been postponed several times. Trump originally wanted tanks and rocket launchers to be part of his inaugural parade but was told the heavy artillery would tear up Pennsylvania Avenue. According to CNBC, the 70-ton Abrams tank is now planned to be part of the Nov. 10 parade; an engineering analysis has determined its weight will leave Washington, D.C.'s streets still usable by civilians.
In September 2017, Trump recalled how much he enjoyed watching France's military parade: "It was a tremendous day, and to a large extent because of what I witnessed, we may do something like that on July 4 in Washington down Pennsylvania Avenue," he said. "We're going to have to try to top it, but we have a lot of planes going over and a lot of military might, and it was really a beautiful thing to see, and representatives from different wars and different uniforms."
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White House chief of staff John Kelly is "freaking out over the cost," tweeted national-security journalist Kate Brannen on Thursday.
So is much of Twitter, which pointed out that $92 million could nearly replace the ruined water system of Flint, Michigan, twice over. It would also fund Robert Mueller's special counsel investigation, which Republicans have said is too expensive, for four-and-a-half years. It is six-and-a-half times costlier than the joint military exercises conducted over North Korea, which Trump canceled, calling them wasteful spending.
Newest estimate for cost of Trump’s military parade: $92 million.— Andrew Wortman (@AmoneyResists) August 16, 2018
$92 million could also:
—Fix Flint’s water crisis
—Rebuild Puerto Rico
—Provide housing for all homeless veterans
But instead, we’re throwing a parade for Trump’s pathetic ego. https://t.co/j3QglUMZ1D
Things we could do with the $92 million taxpayers will spend on #Trump's #MilitaryParade:— Daughter of an Immigrant✨ (@robinskyleigh) August 16, 2018
*Pay the salary of 1,082 California firefighters
*Provide one year of Meals-On-Wheels service to 33,273 seniors
*Purchase 12,348,993 copies of philosopher Harry Frankfurt’s "On Bullshit"