Trump Announces The “America First” Budget

Trump Announces The “America First” Budget


Regardless of whether you think Trump is taking a cleaver or a scalpel to the federal budget and federal programs, this is something that hasn’t been seen since the days of Reagan, and perhaps not even then. It is a massive expression of how Trump wants to deconstruct government

Donald Trump Budget Slashes Funds for E.P.A. and State Department

President Trump’s budget blueprint for the coming fiscal year would slash the Environmental Protection Agency by 31 percent and cut State Department spending by a similar amount in a brash upending of the government’s priorities, according to congressional staff members familiar with the plan.

The budget outline, to be unveiled on Thursday, is more of a broad political statement than a detailed plan for spending and taxation. But it represents Mr. Trump’s first real effort to translate his bold but vague campaign themes into the minutiae of governance. The president would funnel $54 billion in additional funding into defense programs, beef up immigration enforcement and significantly reduce the nondefense federal work force to further the “deconstruction of the administrative state,” in the words of Mr. Trump’s chief strategist, Stephen K. Bannon.

Of course, many parts are already (supposedly) being declared dead by even Republicans, ones who are caught up in using The People’s money to patronize people, especially rich donors, in their home districts. And, of course, the NY Times takes shots at Trump and his team, writing

Mr. Trump’s version is likely to be even skinnier than usual, a result of the chaos, inexperience and staffing problems encountered by the Trump White House over the first two months.

Or, it could be exactly what he wants. At the end, the President puts forth a budget, as required by law by a specific date (something Obama usually failed to do), and Congress debates what it wants to do (except when it is Obama’s, and Harry Reid refused to even discuss it in the Senate). These are the President’s priorities. The duly elected lawmakers then decide what to do. A little FYI, in case the NY Times, and other unhinged newspapers acting as arms of the Democratic National Party, have forgotten the way things work.

USA Today has a pretty good breakdown of what Trump wants sliced away.

Trump’s budget says hundreds of programs and agencies would be eliminated — with more than 50 in the Environmental Protection Agency. But his first budget proposal identified 62 specifically. The list includes

  • McGovern-Dole International Food for Education program ($202 million): Trump’s budget says the program — a sort of Third World school lunch project — “lacks evidence that it is being effectively implemented to reduce food insecurity.”
  • Minority Business Development Agency ($32 million): The White House says this minority business incubator program is “duplicative” of other programs in the Small Business Administration. (WT-wacking of duplicative programs is big in this budget)
  • 21st Century Community Learning Centers program ($1.2 billion): The formula grants to states support before- and after-school and summer programs. “The programs lacks strong evidence of meeting its objectives, such as improving student achievement,” the budget says. (lacking evidence of meeting objectives also is bigly in the budget)
  • Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy ($382 million): This alternative energy research program was established by Congress in 2007 with the goal of funding projects that the private sector would not. (a lot of this goes to ‘climate change’)
  • Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program: This loan fund finances projects that combat global warming. (awesome)
  • State Energy Program ($28.2 million): Gives grants to states to help them work on energy efficiency and anti-climate change programs.
  • Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program ($3.4 billion): LIHEAP helps the elderly and low-income people pay their heating and power bills. (I can’t see this being cut)
  • Community Development Block Grant program ($3 billion): CDBG has been a bread-and-butter funding source for local communities for 42 years, totaling more than $150 billion in grants over its history. “The program is not well-targeted to the poorest populations and has not demonstrated results,” Trump’s budget says.
  • National Wildlife Refuge fund ($480 million): Maintains the Fish and Wildlife Service’s 563 wildlife refuges throughout the country. (won’t be cut)
  • State Criminal Alien Assistance Program ($210 million): Four states receive the bulk of the funding from this program, which reimburses states for the cost of incarcerating criminal immigrants.
  • The Global Climate Change Initiative ($1.3 billion) was an Obama administration proposal to support the Paris climate agreement. It includes the Green Climate Fund ($250 million), the Strategic Climate Fund ($60 million) and the Clean Technology Fund ($171 million).

There are many more at the article. Then there are the “independent agencies” he wants to scuttle, including

  • Corporation for National and Community Service ($771 million): The agency is best known for its Americorps community service program.
  • Corporation for Public Broadcasting ($485 million): Supports public television and radio stations, including the PBS television network and, indirectly, National Public Radio.
  • Denali Commission ($14 million): A state and federal economic development agency for Alaska.
  • National Endowment for the Arts ($152 million): Encourages participation in the arts.
  • National Endowment for the Humanities ($155 million): Supports scholarship into literature and culture.

This is a business person’s budget. It targets spending from the large to the tiny. How often do you see a budget target something like the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness, which is just $4 million dollars? It’s also an opening negotiation point. When Congress says “hey, we can’t get rid of the National Wildlife Refuge fund ($480 million)”, Trump says “fine, toast the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery ($499 million).” The art of the deal.

Some, like the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which funds popular programs like Meals on Wheels, housing assistance and other community assistance efforts, can be transformed via the budgetary process. As Trump says, it is not well targeted. Why not upgrade it and make it more effective, make the money go further and use it better?

This is also a budget meant to move power away from the federal government and back towards the States, counties, and municipalities, who know their people better. Obviously, the whole thing is driving the Credentialed Media and Democrats to a higher state of Moonbattery. Which will get worse as time goes on.

Crossed at Pirate’s Cove. Follow me on Twitter @WilliamTeach.

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