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Trump Reveals Budget that Increases Military, National Security Spending

President Donald Trump released his first budget this morning with proposed spending totals for fiscal 2018 that largely slash domestic spending in favor of increased defense spending. 

This budget blueprint outlines one year’s worth of spending on a small portion of federal outlays, instead of the typical budget blueprint from past administrations which included several years of spending totals, plus how much revenue the government expects to collect.

The budget also neglects to address “mandatory” spending programs such as Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid–programs that do not require annual congressional approval. And it includes no mention of taxes, thus making it difficult to predict how much money will come in to the government over the next few years.

The budget does give details on the Trump administration’s plan for the “discretionary” section of the federal ledger–those programs Congress must approve each year which make up less than half of all federal spending.

To offset the proposed $54 billion increase in defense spending, the administration plans to siphon funds from most other federal agencies, even eliminate some altogether. Smaller agencies like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, the Low Income House Energy Assistance Program, and the Chemical Safety Board would all get the ax under this new budget.

The largest cuts, however, would hit the State Department (almost 30 percent), the Environmental Protection Agency (31 percent), the Agriculture Department (21 percent), and the Department of Labor (20 percent). All to fund a 10 percent increase for the Pentagon.

"This is the America First budget," said Mick Mulvaney, director of the White House Office of Management and Budget, in a briefing with reporters before the document's release. "In fact, we wrote it using the president's own words. We went through his speeches. We went through articles that have been written about his policies ... and we turned those policies into numbers."

Along with Defense, the White House proposes spending increases for agencies that are almost entirely military and national security-related. The Department of Homeland Security would see a hike in funding of 6.8 percent, as would the Department of Veterans' Affairs (5.9 percent) and the National Nuclear Security Administration (11.3 percent).

However, like all White House budgets before, Trump’s blueprint is more a political document than an actual forecaster of government spending. Congress controls the spending and lawmakers may have other priorities for the nation’s funds.

"There's no question this is a hard-power budget," Mulvaney said. "It is not a soft-power budget. This is a hard-power budget. And that was done intentionally. The president very clearly wants to send a message to our allies and our potential adversaries that this is a strong-power administration."

Posted in General News

Tags: federal budget cuts

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