Budget Cuts: Declaring War on Agencies not Named Defense

By: Alec Vandenberg

While in the 1960’s President Lyndon B. Johnson unveiled his War on Poverty, today President Trump has declared war on almost every agency not named Defense, Homeland Security, or Veterans Affairs.

To strengthen the Pentagon, Trump has weakened nearly every aspect of the US budget and government.  Undoubtedly, the Environmental Protection Agency will be hit the hardest, suffering a 31% cut in funding, followed by the State Department at 29%.  The breakdown of changes in funding is listed below:

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Infographic provided by the New York Times 

Nearly 20 other smaller independent agencies, such as the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, will lose all funding.

But the Trump Administration will meet tough resistance in Congress, where the budget needs to be approved, and outside of Washington.

For example, the cuts to the State Department put flows of foreign aid at risk, something many American military officials denounce, even if these extra funds go towards the Department of Defense.

This budget in its entirety reflects an alternative vision for America, one geared towards hard power both internationally and at home.  But it also highlights some misguided priorities for the Trump Administration, which elevates security at the expense of the environment, diplomacy, and dozens of other causes.

Trump depicts America as surrounded by foes both at home and abroad to justify his policies, but the data doesn’t hold up.

For one, the U.S. spends more on the military than the next seven nations combined, and accounts for over 1/3 of total defense spending in the world, rendering increased funding to the Department of Defense head scratching at best.

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It’s also unclear why the Department of Homeland Security warrants more tax dollars when more immigrants are returning to Mexico than are coming to the U.S.

Regardless of whether this budget holds up, it reveals the rough game plan of an administration rocked by scandal and miscommunication so far.

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