Trump Transforms Budget in Trying Times


Bera Demirbilek, Staff Writer

President Trump has had an interesting start of his presidency so far. He has received much criticism, from his travel ban, to propositions on building a wall along the Mexican-American Border. Nevertheless, the American Leader remains robust in his actions and his policies.

Among the more notable actions by Trump are his recent budget cuts from numerous governmental agencies and departments, and his planned increase in DOD (Department of Defense) spending.

So how does the national budget work?

About 75% of the federal budget is mandatory spending, or spending that can’t be changed. Mandatory spending is generally for payments on the national debt and other government required agencies. The remaining quarter of the budget is discretionary spending, or spending that the presiding administration and Congress can alter. This is the part of the national budget that will be affected by Trump and Congress’s decisions.

So what does Trump want to increase spending on?

Throughout his campaign he repeatedly brought up the question of national security, whether it may have been about ISIS threats and radical Islam, to threats from China, and his concerns sure look like they will be addressed in Trump’s budget plan, Trump’s proposed budget of $54 billion would be added to defense spending in a ten percent increase. These funds towards defense are supposedly to help increase the ranks of the Army and Marines, and to develop fleets. Additionally, the proposal also covers the costly security-related project: Trump’s wall on the Mexican border. Which the proposed budget would allocate roughly $2.5 billion.

Many Americans are concerned about Trump’s proposal, and for a valid reason, as many important cuts will be made from important governmental agencies in order to supply funding to the military and to the wall. In fact, ten federal agencies would face cuts of over ten percent of their current budget. The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency), would see a 31 percent decrease in spending. Programs to protect wildlife and the environment would be scaled back, and approximately 3,200 employees would lose their jobs. This has angered many environmentalists, and many Democratic Congress members. Another notable cut would be to The State Department, the diplomatic branch of international agreement for the United States of America. Nearly $11 billion would be cut from the department, approximately a 29% reduction in the department’s resources. Cutting diplomatic power seems odd to some because some may believe that the State Department ultimately helps resolve conflict, and create peace.

But in the end, the decision comes down to Congress on whether to pass Trump’s 2018 discretionary budget proposal. Although we cannot predict for sure what Congress may yield as the final decision, but we can predict that it will definitely be difficult for President Trump to pass his proposal given the difficulties that have occurred recently in Congress with trying to pass the American Health Care Act, and trying to repeal the Affordable Care Act.