NC Budget and Tax Center, Trump Administration

Trump’s budget will not make America great again

Budgets matter, both within government and inside each household across America. Within government, a budget in its most basic form equals policy priority. Yesterday, the White House released its first budget blueprint, also referred to as its skinny budget, and the consensus all around is that the proposed budget will not make America great again.

Instead, Trump’s proposed budget will hurt households and remove the foundational role of many federal programs that support the economy and neighborhood well-being.

The reason Trump’s budget will not make America great again is simple: Trump’s budget makes no attempt to prioritize the allocation of money against various important American needs and priorities in a strategic manner. Instead, the Trump budget blueprint makes it very clear that in order to make America great again it only has to address one policy goal: safety. The budget proposes a $54 billion increase in spending on defense.

The safety and security of America is vital. However, the recipe of what has truly made America great over time has been its ability to prioritize effectively various policies, including security, in order to serve all Americans and provide for a more prosperous future that considers a wide array of current and emerging issues. Eroding support to state and local governments, reducing investments in neighborhood well-being and limiting the economic security of Americans will undercut that goal.

For people who like to see data visually, there are various telling graphs of how Trump’s proposed budget for major agencies compares to previous budgets going back to 1978. A graph that illustrates Trump’s drastic proposed budget change to major federal agencies is here (Note: 16 out of 20 (80 percent) major federal agencies will see their budget cut). Most stark is that the proposal also eliminates funding for these 19 agencies and their programs covering chemical safety, museums, public broadcasting, trade and investment, homelessness, and peace initiatives. Headlines yesterday regarding Trump’s budget included:

Center on Budget and Policy Priorities stated: “It’s a budget that will increase hardship and poverty, exacerbate the gulf between the wealthy and other Americans, slash funding for areas that represent investments in our workforce — with likely long-term adverse effects on the economy.”

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In dozens of vitally important areas, policy decisions of the Trump administration are dramatically affecting and altering the lives of North Carolinians. This growing collection of stories summarizes and critiques many of the most important decisions and their impacts.