News

Proposed Budget Seeks Increase in Cuts

By CAMERON KROETZ

The first budget proposal that has come out of the Trump Administration’s Office of Management and Budget seeks to increase Defense spending by $54 billion, nearly a 10% increase. President Trump formally announced this budget increase by saying, “[the budget plan] will include a historic increase in defense spending to rebuild the depleted military of the United States of America at a time, [it] most needs it.” The current U.S. defense budget is $598.5 billion.


The budget plan also proposes cuts to the State Department and Foreign Aid that have a combined budget of $50 billion; the proposed to cut the State Department/Foreign Aid amounts to a 37% budget decrease. The President is making good on a campaign promise to cut Foreign Aid funding, 1% of the current Federal Budget goes directly to Foreign Aid. Lindsey Graham, Republican Senator from South Carolina spoke of the State Department cut on MSNBC saying, “It’s dead on arrival. It’s not going to happen. It would be a disaster.” James Jay Carafano, director of foreign relations research at the conservative Heritage Foundation called the cut “a good thing”.

The Environmental Protection Agency is another executive department that is facing budget cuts. The President’s budget plan proposes a 25% budget cut and a layoff of 20% of its employees. President Trump spoke of wanting to cut EPA funds throughout his campaign and these cuts have been on the Republican agenda for well over a decade. Proponents of the President’s plan say that he is sticking to his campaign promises and getting rid of unnecessary government oversight whereas opponents to the cuts say that they will hurt the environment and will play into the big-business agenda. Gallup ran a public opinion poll in 2016 in which 56% of those polled agreed with the statement: “protection of the environment should be given priority even at the risk of curbing economic growth.” *

The new budget proposal is more or less leaving the other executive departments untouched with little fluctuation in their budgets. As of now the budget is purely a proposal since it has yet to be approved by Congress meaning that it is still far from becoming official.

*Gallup Poll

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