America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again

America First: A Budget Blueprint to Make America Great Again

Shanna Nelson, Outreach Coordinator

Today, Donald Trump’s Administration released with their first proposed budget, and there were many unique changes within it. The budget proposal began with a page describing the goals for the budget, stating:

  • provides for one of the largest increases in defense spending without increasing the Debt
  • significantly increases the budget for immigration enforcement at the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security
  • includes additional resources for a wall on the southern border with Mexico, immigration judges, expanded detention capacity, U.S. Attorneys, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and Border Patrol
  • increases funding to address violent crime and reduces opioid abuse
  • puts America first by keeping more of America’s hard-earned tax dollars here at home

“We are going to do more with less, and make the government lean and accountable to the people,” Trump said in the statement.

According to FOX News, “The $54 billion, 10 percent boost for the military is the largest since President Ronald Reagan's Pentagon buildup in the 1980s, promising immediate money for troop readiness, the fight against Islamic State militants and procurement of new ships, fighter jets and other weapons.”

The budget focuses on the 10% military increase, while adding $1.4 billion this year for the proposed border wall on the southern border with Mexico. The budget also makes cuts to 12 of the 15 government agencies, including Agriculture, Labor, EPA, and State. In an attempt to drastically decrease foreign aid, the Budget cuts the State Department budget by a 28% decrease.

The Corporation for Public Broadcasting took a big hit, losing $445 million in federal funding, ending federal involvement in the corporation. The Corporation for public Broadcasting is responsible for NPR and CBS, as well as many other small stations. According to FOX News, government funds account for 15% of their funding. The budget also makes cuts to the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities. The CPB responded, saying:

There is no viable substitute for federal funding that ensures Americans have universal access to public media’s educational and informational programming and services. The elimination of federal funding to CPB would initially devastate and ultimately destroy public media’s role in early childhood education, public safety, connecting citizens to our history, and promoting civil discussions – for Americans in both rural and urban communities.

Public media is one of America’s best investments. At approximately $1.35 per citizen per year, it pays huge dividends to every American. From expanding opportunity, beginning with proven children’s educational content to providing essential news and information as well as ensuring public safety and homeland security through emergency alerts, this vital investment strengthens our communities. It is especially critical for those living in small towns and in rural and underserved areas.

Viewers and listeners appreciate that public media is non-commercial and available for free to all Americans. We will work with the new Administration and Congress in raising awareness that elimination of federal funding to CPB begins the collapse of the public media system itself and the end of this essential national service.

See the CPB’s full response to the cuts here.

“Some of the most politically sensitive domestic programs would be spared, including food aid for pregnant women and their children, housing vouchers for the poor, aid for special education and school districts for the poor, and federal aid to historically black colleges and universities.” FOX News reported.

Overall, this budget spends more money in the US by adding to the military and cutting foreign aid, and it does exactly what President Trump committed to doing when he took office. President Trump made promises of a border wall, cutting foreign aid, cutting Public Broadcasting, and increasing the military budget, and he has done all of that in this budget.

Follow this author on Twitter: @shannadnelson

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