Trump’s New Budget Proposal

Sungwon Chung ‘22

On February 10, President Trump proposed a $4.8 trillion budget plan. The plan, which cuts back on several social benefits, faces high criticism from many of the Democratic candidates for the 2020 presidential election. According to the White House, this proposal will close the national deficit by 2035, still not meeting the GOP fiscal target of ten years.


The budget plan cuts back on many agencies responsible for maintaining public health and safety; the Environmental Protection Agency faces one of the largest budget cuts, which is proposed to be reduced by about 26 percent. Along with this, budgets for Health and Human Services as well as the Department Education are both being lowered by 12 percent [1]


Student loan programs are also projected to face cuts of about $207 billion over the next decade. Senator Kevin Cramer stated that,“the cuts proposed today would save little but inflict severe pain in American agriculture.” [2] The Agricultural Department is set to have an overall 8 percent budget reduction.


Meanwhile, the spending for defense, veterans, and Homeland Security are increasing: the defense budget alone will receive an additional 33 billion dollars. From the budget, NASA will see one of the largest growth in funding in years [3]. The agency is expected to get a 12 percent increase in its budget, with the Trump administration pushing for getting astronauts back on the moon with NASA’s Artemis project.


Despite the budget cuts, the numbers and dates for closing the deficit are, according to some, based on unrealistic hopes of economic growth. For the deficit to close by 2035, the economy would have to grow at an unprecedented 3 percent per year until 2025. In 2019, the economic growth failed to reach the number at only a 2.3 percent increase, the weakest since President Trump took office.


Also, even as the administration promised to eliminate the 20 trillion dollar national debt by 2025, the budget proposal will also increase the national debt by 5 trillion dollars, with 3 trillion dollars already having been added to the debt since 2016. Economists also predict that growth in 2020 will be slow and limited [1].


As House Budget Committee Chairman John Yarmuth noted, “This is the future President Trump envisions for our nation, one where the federal government relinquishes any responsibility for the well-being of the American people in our nation. What the president has put forth is a destructive and irrational budget that intentionally goes after working families and vulnerable Americans.” [2]


Foreign aid will also be reduced by 21 percent, as the President pushes to have countries pay for their own defense [4]. According to some, the reduction in foreign aid is to stop exploitation in countries where corruption is a major problem, hinting at Ukraine, which is related to the main reason that the impeachment hearings began. However, over the next decade, the administration seeks to cut federal spending by 4.4 trillion dollars [4].


However, although some of the tax cuts may be beneficial, the President is also slashing 700 billion dollars from Medicaid over the next decade [5]. This will severely impact those who need affordable healthcare, and may affect tens of millions of people who are currently enrolled in the program. Although with an unprecedented and flawless economy, the budget proposal may close the deficit by 2035, it will come at the cost of the social well being of many Americans.