On the campaign trail, Donald Trump promised to strengthen the military, take care of the veterans, and to secure the borders. As promised, President Trump’s proposed 2018 budget shows increased funding for the Department of Defence (10%), the Department of Homeland Security (7%), and the Department of veteran Affairs (6%). But at what cost? Well, nineteen agencies could be eliminated, including the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and the Chemical Safety Board. Fifteen other departments could also suffer significant budget cuts. Let’s take a look at the departments most affected by Trump’s proposed budget.
Environmental Protection Agency, down 31%
It’s no secret that Donald Trump is not a fan of preserving the earth’s natural resources. He once said that global warming was a hoax made up by the Chinese, and he also advocates for coal mining and oil drilling. This proposed budget cut of $2.5 billion would slash 3,200 jobs, halt climate change funding, and significantly reduce funding for coastal clean-up efforts and scientific research.
State Department, down 29%
In keeping with Trump’s “America First” agenda, this budget cut would reduce funding for international programs and foreign aid by $10.9 billion. It would cease payments to the UN’s climate change programs, reduce UN peacekeeping funding, cut funding to development banks (eg. the World Bank), and discontinue many scholarships and cultural exchange programs.
Agriculture Department, down 21%
While food stamps and crop subsidies remain unaffected by this budget cut, many other food assistance programs could take a hard blow. The $4.7 billion reduction affects the nutrition assistance program for women and children, and diminishes funding to a program that assists with job opportunities and business development. The budget cut also proposes to abolish the McGovern-Dole International Food for Education Program which distributes food aid to poverty-stricken children abroad, and the Water and Wastewater loan and grant program which helps rural communities with their infrastructural needs.
Labor Department, down 21%
Seniors and disadvantaged youth take the hardest blow with this budget cut. The possible $2.6 billion reduction in funds terminates the programme which helps persons over 55 find work, and shuts down some centers that provide job training for disadvantaged youth. In addition, the proposed budget cut eliminates government assistance for safety and health training to non-profit groups and public agencies.
Department of Health and Human Services, down 18%
This is one of the largest departments in Government, and Trump proposes a $15.1 billion cut. The cut reduces funding for the National Institutes of Health, which conducts local and international biomedical research.
Commerce Department, down 16%
Trump’s aversion to environmental protections really comes out in this proposed $1.4 billion budget cut. For the most part, funding to climate change and ocean research could be reduced.
Education Department, down 14%
With Betsy DeVos as the new education secretary, the Education department faces budgetary cuts to accommodate her school choice mandate. The proposed $9.2 billion reduction in the Education budget could negatively impact teacher training, summer programs, after school programs, and assistance to low-income first-generation students.
Department of Housing and Urban Development, down 13%
Although Trump promised to help the inner cities, his $6.2 billion budget cut will stretch this department thin. He proposes eliminating funding to many community development initiatives and housing assistance programs for persons with low income.
Transportation Department, down 13%
This $2.4 billion cut shifts many transport functions away from the federal government. Air Traffic control may now be removed from the Government’s hands, and federal states and their localities could be given more responsibility for transit. The cut also ceases funding for new transit projects, and halts the $175 million subsidies that keeps cost low for commercial flights to rural airports.
Interior Department, down 12%
Disregarding the environment, this proposed $1.6 billion budget cut eradicates funding for all 49 National Heritage Areas. This means that daily maintenance of these historic sites and national parks would be increasingly difficult. Efforts to stop illegal wildlife trafficking would also take a huge blow.
Four other departments also may receive less than 10% severance to their budgets. These include the Energy Department (down 6%), Small Business Administration (down 5%), Treasury Department (down 4%), the Justice Department (down 4%), and NASA (down 1%). We’ll have to wait and see how much of these budget cuts are approved by congress. Let’s hope that they make the right decisions.