Examining Donald Trump’s “America First” Budget

On Thursday morning March 16, the Trump administration released its new “America First” budget plan, you can read the full thing here, or you could just read this nice bulleted list I made after speed reading the entire document this morning.

Notable increases

  • The proposed budget will increase defense funding by 10%, raising it to $547 billion. This will increase the size of the Army and Marines while also purchasing more F-35 fighter planes.
  • Homeland Security’s funding will increase by 7%, raising it to $44.1 billion. The budget also asks congress for $1.5 billion for the wall to be built. Congress is noticeably NOT MEXICO.
  • Veterans Affairs will have a 6% increase to $78.9 billion. This adds $4.4 billion that will go to expanding health care services for veterans and might help the VA get it’s feet back on the ground.

Notable losses

  • The EPA budget has been cut by 31% to a total of $5.7 billion. It is anticipated that 3,200 jobs will be cut from the EPA if the new budget is approved by Congress. Last year the EPA budget was the lowest it had been in 16 years at just $8.1 billion. The Great Lakes Initiative is eliminated from Trump’s budget proposal, which is a plan to restore and protect the ecosystem surrounding the great lakes.
  • The proposed budget also eliminates funding for 19 government agencies. Literally 100% of the budget for arts and culture agencies will be cut if this budget passes, taking away $973 million from the national endowment for the arts and humanities.
  • The Department of Housing and Urban Development has been proposed to be cut by 13%, lowering the budget to $40.7 billion. This will completely eliminate the $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program, which funds important programs like meals on wheels.
  • Education has a proposed cut of 14%, lowering the overall budget to $59 billion, but noticeably increases charter school funding by $168 million as well as creating a new private school-choice program that costs $250 million.

It’s important to remember that budgets have to be approved by Congress so, thankfully, we aren’t one executive order away from this mess. In all, $64.4 billion is being cut from 17 agencies while three agencies, defense, homeland security, and veterans affairs, are receiving $59.5 billion in expansions. It’s also worth pointing out that this entire budget is only a 1.1 trillion dollars, which is a big difference from Obama’s last budget of almost $4 trillion.

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Megan Mitchell
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Megan is a 17 year old aspiring journalist from Dallas, Texas with a passion for saving the bees, musical theatre, and the oxford comma. Her goal is to write for the Washington Post after college.

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