Re the May 31 oped in the Miami Herald, “Breaking up isn’t that hard to do, after all,” by columnist Patrick Buchanan: After meeting with Angela Merkel of Germany, President Trump intimated that Germany and NATO are freeloaders.
Currently, the United States spends 3 percent of gross domestic product on defense, whereas Germany and other NATO countries spend 1 percent.
European nations provide universal healthcare, subsided housing, extended childcare benefits and unemployment benefits, rather than spend it on defense.
Rather than ask Germany and other countries to increase defense spending, maybe we need to ask why we need to increase defense spending by 10 percent, or more than $50 billion, when we spend more on defense ($600 billion) than the next 10 countries combined??
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Trump refused to affirm NATO’s Article 5, whereby an attack on one country is an attack on all.
If his agenda is “America First” — and an isolationist foreign policy — maybe we need to spend less on defense and spend more on providing benefits to our citizens.
Let’s start with healthcare:
The United States is the only advanced industrialized country that does not provide universal healthcare to all its citizens.