Washington, D.C. — This morning, March 16, 2017, President Trump made public his 2018 budget proposal which includes cuts in many agencies and increases in others. While the federal deficit is around $600 billion and the federal debt sits at $20 trillion, Trump’s proposal would continue the deficit and offers no relief to reduce the deficit or the debt. The budget is relatively spending neutral as for all the increases in spending, Trump proposes cost savings elsewhere.
While 73 percent of the budget is non-negotiable with items such as Medicare, Social Security and interest on the debt, the remaining portion of federal spending offers big changes. The largest is an increase of $54 billion to military spending on top of the $580 billion we are spending now which is about a nine percent increase. It also includes an additional expenditure of over $2.5 billion for the Mexico/U.S. border wall that Trump has promised his supporters throughout his presidential campaign. Other spending increases are seven percent for the Department of Homeland Security and a six percent increase for Veterans Affairs.
Under the budget, Trump suggests the elimination of these 19 agencies:
African Development Foundation
Appalachian Regional Commission
Chemical Safety Board
Corporation for National and Community Service
Corporation for Public Broadcasting
Delta Regional Authority
Institute of Museum and Library Services
U.S. Trade and Development Agency
Legal Services Corporation
National Endowment for the Arts
National Endowment for the Humanities
Neighborhood Reinvestment Corporation
Northern Border Regional Commission
Overseas Private Investment Corporation
U.S. Institute of Peace
U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness
Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars
Besides the elimination of these 19 federal agencies, reductions in federal spending would come from a 31 percent reduction for the EPA, 29 percent for the State Department, and 21 percent for both the Agriculture Department and the Labor Department. More spending reductions would come from the Department of Health and Human Services, the Commerce Department, Education, HUD, Transportation, Interior, Energy and to a lesser extent, reductions in spending for NASA, Justice, Treasury, and the SBA.
This is simply Trump’s 2018 blueprint budget and will now go to be picked apart by Congress and will likely look nothing like his proposal.