President Trump's $4.4 Trillions Budget Features Soaring Deficits
President Donald Trump is sending Congress a $4.4 trillion spending plan that provides a huge increase in defense spending while cutting taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
President Donald Trump is sending Congress a $4.4 trillion spending plan that provides a huge increase in defense spending while cutting taxes by $1.5 trillion over the next decade. The result is soaring budget deficits.
Trump's first budget last year projected that the government would achieve a small surplus by 2027. But the new budget never gets to balance. It proposes $7.1 trillion in red ink over the next decade, basically doubling last year's forecast.
The new plan, for the 2019 budget year, seeks increases in such areas as building the border wall and fighting the opioid epidemic. Complicating matters, Trump last week signed a $300 billion measure to boost defense and domestic spending, negating many of the cuts in his new budget plan.
The original plan was for Trump's new budget to slash domestic agencies even further than last year's proposal, but instead it will land in Congress three days after he signed a two-year spending agreement that wholly rewrites both.
Meanwhile, the Trump administration wants NASA out of the International Space Station by 2025, and private businesses running the place instead.
Under the proposed budget released, U.S. government funding for the space station would cease by 2025. The government would set aside $150 million to encourage commercial development.
Many in the space arena have already expressed concern. Senator Bill Nelson, a Florida Democrat who rocketed into orbit in 1986, said it makes no sense to walk away from the space station.
NASA has spent close to $100 billion on the orbiting outpost since the 1990s.
Altogether, the budget seeks to increase NASA's budget slightly to $19.6 billion.
And - the Pentagon is proposing to spend hundreds of millions more in 2019 on missile defense.
The budget calls for increasing the number of strategic missile interceptors from 44 to 64. The additional 20 interceptors would be based at Fort Greely, Alaska. Critics question the reliability of the interceptors, arguing that years of testing have yet to prove them effective against sophisticated threats.
The Pentagon also would invest more heavily in the ship-based Aegis system and the Army's Patriot air and missile defense system. Both are designed to defend against missiles with ranges shorter than the intercontinental ballistic missile that is of greatest U.S. concern in the context of North Korea.
Trump's proposed 2019 budget calls for slashing funding for the Environmental Protection Agency by more than one third, including ending the Climate Change Research and Partnership Programs.
The president's budget would also make deep cuts to funding for cleaning up the nation's most polluted sites, even as EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt says that's one of his top priorities. Trump's budget would allocate just $762 million for the Hazardous Substance Superfund Account, a reduction of more than 30%.
Current spending for Superfund is down to about half of what it was in the 1990s. Despite the cut, the White House says the administration plans to "accelerate" site cleanups by bringing "more private funding to the table for redevelopment."
The plan also includes $18 billion to create a public lands infrastructure fund for the Interior Department. Most of the money would come from revenue generated by energy development on federal lands.
The money would be used to whittle down an estimated $16 billion backlog in maintenance for national parks, wildlife refuges and other public lands.
The Interior Department has separately proposed $1.3 billion in the next budget year to address the maintenance backlog, which includes more than $11 billion for the National Park Service alone.
Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke said the nation's parks and wildlife refuges "are being loved to death" and need significant work to keep pace with increased number of visitors.
Congressman Ruben J. Kihuen issued the statement after the release of President Trump’s 2019 budget proposal which supports plans for an interim storage program and the licensing of the Yucca Mountain geologic repository:
“I am disappointed that President Trump’s latest budget request dedicates $120 million to revive the long-dead nuclear waste repository at Yucca Mountain, money that would be much better spent on research and development of the renewable energy technology that we need to power our clean-energy future. Rather than pursue a realistic attempt to develop a substantive nuclear waste management program, this is a colossal waste of funding that goes directly against the will of Nevadans. I have been proud to help lead the fight against dumping nuclear waste in Nevadans’ backyards, and I will continue working to ensure this project remains dead.”
U.S. Senator Dean Heller released this statement:
“Despite Congress’ refusal to fund the Yucca Mountain project, the Administration is once again prioritizing it. Whether it’s the threat that Yucca Mountain poses to the people of southern Nevada or its potentially catastrophic effect on our tourism economy, I’ve made it clear why Nevada does not want to turn into the nation’s nuclear waste dump,” said Heller. “Under my leadership Congress has not appropriated funding for licensing activities at Yucca Mountain as requested in the last budget, and I’m going to continue to fight to make sure that this project doesn’t see the light of day.”
U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto said in a statement:
“It's a disgrace that president trump and some members of congress find it acceptable to continue throwing away tax payer money on a failed project.”