The budget request President Trump released on Monday represents a conservative vision taken to the extreme. It would shoot military spending skyward while dismantling domestic programs piece by piece, with few exceptions.
The budget peels back many of the promises the president made either on the campaign trail or in tweets. For instance, the president has stated an intention to pull back from military interventions in Syria, Afghanistan and elsewhere — but his budget insists on an even bigger military budget. And the cash flow to the Pentagon, combined with ongoing tax cuts for the rich, puts the lie to the idea that Republicans care about deficits and balanced budgets.
The budget calls for $750 billion in military spending, a nearly 5 percent increase over 2019 spending. And it calls for a 9 percent cut in all other discretionary spending, which covers nearly everything else — including priorities like education, affordable housing, environmental protection, scientific and medical research, public health, and diplomacy, among others — taking it from $597 billion in 2019 to $543 billion in 2020. The proposal also calls for additional cuts to Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.
At a time when progressives are clamoring for major new investments like a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, and free college, and an end to wars, the Trump budget represents the polar opposite of each of those.
Dismantling Government (But Not the Pentagon)
As in his past budgets, the president has proposed cutting budgets for nearly every government agency except the Pentagon, Homeland Security and Veterans’ Affairs, with few exceptions.
Under the president’s plan, the cuts just keep on coming: the Department of Education would take a 12 percent cut; the Department of Energy would take an 11 percent cut; Health and Human Services would be cut by 12 percent; Agriculture by 15 percent; Transportation by 22…