On Mar. 16, the Trump Administration released their “America First” budget blueprint, highlighting their ideal spending for the next four years. The blueprint remains a provisional plan, only reflecting the president’s wishes and his future outlook. A final draft of the federal budget must first be approved by Congress and has yet to be released.
Mick Mulvaney, Trump’s director of the Office of Management and Budget, classified the the document as a “hard-power” budget to display our force and send a message of power to the rest of the world, as the budget proposes massive increases to the Defense and Homeland Security deposits.
To pay for the Defense increases, Trump’s budget cuts funding to almost every government department excluding Defense, Homeland Security and Veteran’s Affairs. The Defense budget alone increases by a margin of 52.3 billion dollars while the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the State Department and the Labor Department lose upward of 29 percent of their respective budgets.
Among these massive budget cuts, several federal programs will have their budget completely eliminated. The National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting stand to lose it all, cutting federal support for the arts and several beloved public broadcasting shows including Sesame Street and the National Public Radio .
Along with the arts, agencies geared toward scientific research and climate change decreased exponentially. The National Institute of Health, responsible for funding medical research and the development of new treatments, had their budget cut by 5.8 billion dollars. The budget entirely cuts payments to the Green Climate Fund and the Clean Power Plan, even cutting the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and Chesapeake Bay funding. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration responsible for funding research and education of coastal and marine sites lose $250 million. Even the National Aeronautics and Space Administration lose part of its educational outreach budget.
Trump’s proposed budget cuts the Education Department by 9.2 billion dollars. This leads to reductions for several after-school programs across the nation including Striving Readers, Teacher Quality Partnership and Impact Aid.
These are just three fields threatened by Trump’s new budget – those stricken by poverty will be affected the most. The budget shifts money from programs to benefit the low-class and prevent poverty, like Meals on Wheels.
According to Mulvaney, Trump’s campaign promises and what the administration felt comfortable asking the taxpayer to pay determined the magnitude of the cuts. They looked at single moms and coal miners and determined that the only thing they could reasonably ask them to pay for would be the protection of defense. The Trump administration classifies these cuts as a way to help the taxpayer and alleviate the weight of taxes.
Public outcry has been fierce and abundant, with several celebrities on Twitter even joining the fray to denounce the proposed budget on behalf of the arts, or the sciences, or any other lifestyle threatened by Trump’s cuts. Almost every group of people protested the budget , and discontent continues to filter through.