President Trump's budget proposal would increase military spending $54 billion. He implies that NATO members take advantage of America by not paying enough for own defense. When German Chancellor Angela Merkel visited Washington recently, Trump tweeted: "Germany owes … vast sums of money to NATO & the United States must be paid more for the powerful, and very expensive, defense it provides to Germany!"
Trump leaves the impression that Americans shoulder an unnecessarily large military burden because some NATO members underfund their military establishments. But that's nonsense, writes Sheldon Richman, because that's not how things work in Washington or in NATO. Americans don't pay more because Germans Italians, Spaniards, Portuguese, and Norwegians pay less.