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Robert Namer
Voice Of America
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JULY 24, 2017

     President Trump must use his business sense to lower waste, negligence and ineptness at the Pentagon.  Trump commissioned the aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford Saturday, celebrating the newest symbol of American military might as he called on Congress to approve a budget with a big increase in defense spending.  Addressing an audience of dignitaries and sailors on the $12.9-billion nuclear-powered carrier at the Naval Air Station in Norfolk, Virginia, Mr. Trump said the new warship will deliver an unmistakable message to America’s allies and enemies.

     “American steel and American hands have constructed a 100,000-ton message to the world: American might is second to none, and we’re getting bigger and better and stronger every day of my administration,” Mr. Trump said. “Everyone will know that America is coming, and America is coming strong.”  The warship is the largest nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in the world, and was emblazoned for the event with a banner proclaiming “Made in the USA.” It’s named for the 38th president, who rose to the rank of lieutenant commander in the Navy in World War II.

     Mr. Trump used the occasion to call on Congress to complete the fiscal 2018 budget that would boost defense spending by about $54 billion, an increase of roughly 10 percent. The new fiscal year begins Oct. 1.  “For years, our government has subjected the military to unpredictable funding, and a devastating defense ‘sequester,’” the president said. “This has led to deferred maintenance, a lack of investment in new equipment and technology and a shortfall in military readiness. It’s been a very, very bad period of time for our military.”

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