Trump Administration Proposes 4.75 Trillion Dollar Budget
On Monday, March 11th, United States President Donald Trump unveiled a record-breaking budget which includes billions of dollars of funding for the border wall, the military, and veterans affairs. The budget, which is unlikely to pass the Democrat-controlled House of Representatives, also has intense cuts to environmental, education, and social security funding within the government.
Despite facing virtually no chance of actually passing Congress, the President’s budget gives a key look into the issues that he may plan to focus on in his campaign for reelection in 2020. Appealing to his core supporters, Mr. Trump’s plan pours funding into areas where conservative support is broad, such as the armed forces, while going after traditionally liberal programs like Medicare and Medicaid.
Certain areas and departments of the government were clearly the winners of President Trump’s new budget. The military would be given funds to raise the pay of both soldiers and sailors by around 3.1% aside from billions of new dollars in funding for new technology and operations. In addition, the Pentagon was provided with an increase of over 34 billion dollars, making its new budget 750 billion.
The same was true for immigration services, for which Mr. Trump seeks to grant an additional 8.8 billion dollars to hire thousands of new employees to secure the border. On top of this increase in support for expanding immigration enforcement, the President also wishes to grant 8.6 billion dollars in funding to one of the mainstay issues for his administration, the border wall.
To pay for these radical increases, departments and services across the board faced drastic cuts. Food stamp programs would lose over 17 billion over the next year and more than 220 billion in the next decade. The Environmental Protection Agency would also be one of the biggest losers, with a 31% decrease in funding.
However, Mr. Trump especially focused on heavily decreasing funding in one area in particular, social security. He is planning to cut over 26 billion dollars in these public benefits programs, including 10 billion dollars in the Social Security Disability Insurance program which is used by more than 9 million Americans across the country.
Medicare and Medicaid were also not spared the ax, with the President planning to slash more than 2 trillion dollars combined from both the programs. These cuts would come in the form of decreased funding for hospitals, patient services, and the Affordable Care Act (A.K.A. Obamacare).
Political leaders on the left quickly derided the cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) called the funding decreases, “a gut punch to the American middle class” as well as “cruel and unthinking.”
Despite the devastating cuts in the new budget, Democrats seem to have little to fear, because they can block any of these actions by the White House in the House of Representatives. However, if Republicans can win back control of Congress in 2020, this record-breaking proposal might just become a reality.