Deep Cuts: Trump's Budget is very bad news for some of its own suppporters
President Trump’s $1.1 trillion spending plan considers deep cuts to domestic, aid programs, while boosting military spending. All these cuts could hurt low-income Americans, including some of Trump’s own supporters.
The budget proposal the White House released to Congress on Thursday is clear reflection of Trump’s campaign promises. In order to fund an increase in military spending, it makes deep cuts to education programs and funding for science, including the bipartisan-supported National Institutes of Health.
President Trump’s $1.1 trillion spending plan also envisions to eliminate funding for 19 independent agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the Environmental Protection Agency and the United Nations.
“We’re not spending money on that anymore,” Mick Mulvaney, the president’s budget director, told reporters at the White House. “We consider that a waste of your money to go out and do that.”
He also said that after-school programs had failed to help children in schools, that housing programs were “not well run,” that government health research had suffered “mission creep” and that grants to local communities “don’t do any good,” as reported in The NY Times.
While slashing funds for foreign aid, poverty relief and the environment, the US president’s budget would boost military spending and assign billions to building a wall on the Mexican border.
Entitled “America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again” (which borrows from a phrase denounced by the Anti-Defamation League for its links to 1940s Nazi sympathisers, as reported in The Guardian), the plan signalled a change of direction likely to satisfy Trump’s populist base while dismaying many in the Washington establishment.
The harshest criticism of Mr. Trump’s budget came from Democrats and liberal organizations. But in a city where many federal programs enjoy longstanding bipartisan support, some Republicans also assailed the president’s judgment.
All these cuts could hurt low-income Americans, including some of Trump’s own supporters.
It will also affect the slowing scientific and tech research, a key factor to help revive U.S. manufacturing and innovation.
Cuts in the National Institutes of Health, one of the biggest funders of biomedical research in the world, will put at risk the competitiveness of the US compared to other countries.
Investing in research and development has been one of the primary forces driving the US economy since World War II. But that advantage has been shrinking lately, as other nations — especially China — are catching up. By slashing programs funding research on things like renewable energy, batteries, and the next big cancer drug, the Trump administration will hurt innovation — and the economy.
Hope is not lost: In order to be approved, the budget needs bipartisan support, so it may not make it through Congress.