Any newspaper can hire reporters, but The New York Times hires mind readers. Yes, they are at it again. In an article on Trump's demand that other NATO countries increase their military spending to 2.0 percent of GDP the NYT tells readers;
"Mr. Trump, who appears to have a special animus toward Germany, believes that Berlin has developed a vibrant social system and thriving export-driven economy unfairly and on the back of the United States, by not spending enough on defense."
It's so great that we have the NYT to tell us that Trump really has such incredibly absurd beliefs. The idea that Germany's economy would somehow have suffered horribly if it had spent an additional 1.0 percent of GDP on the military is pretty crazy, especially since it has suffered from a serious lack of demand for the last decade.
This doesn't mean that military spending would be the best use of Germany's resources. But it's very hard to make a case that additional spending, even if it were entirely wasteful from a social and economic standpoint, would have devastated Germany's economy. In fact, it probably would have led to somewhat stronger growth and surely would have benefitted the other EU countries that are Germany's largest trading partners.