~ Where the Sun Will Never Set on Our liberty ~
Donald Trump is offering an audacious budget with steep cuts to nearly every domestic department, but there is little chance that Congress will accept the bulk of its recommendations.
“It is clear that this budget proposed today cannot pass the Senate,” said Senate Armed Services Chairman John McCain, an Arizona Republican.
Even Republicans in the House were notably lukewarm in their reaction Thursday to Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget request. House Speaker Paul Ryan called it part of a “long, ongoing” budget process, while Senate Budget Chairman Mike Enzi said “I look forward” to working with the Trump administration to “to help Washington become more accountable.”
No president in recent memory has proposed such austerity to non-defense programs -- with cuts averaging more than 10 percent before inflation. Trump is seeking to slash key agencies like the State Department and the Environmental Protection Agency by about 30 percent, while paring tens of billions of dollars from health, education, scientific research, housing, energy and transportation.
But the reaction from Congress reflects the significant challenges the new president faces as he works to bring his budget ideas to fruition. In both chambers, most domestic programs have bipartisan advocates. And in the Senate, where the party holds just 52 of 100 seats, bipartisan support for cuts will be imperative because it takes 60 votes to move spending bills past opponents’ delaying tactics.
“We had an America First candidate, we now have an America First president, and it shouldn’t surprise anybody that we have an America First budget,” Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, told reporters.
“He did not ask lobbyists for input on this. He did not ask special interests for input on this,” Mulvaney said. Nor did Trump consider how the budget would affect “particular congressional districts,” he said.
Of the 15 Cabinet agencies listed in President Trump’s “America First” budget blueprint, only a sliver are seeing any increases over their 2017 levels – but the increases are generous.
Three agencies – Defense, Veterans Affairs and Homeland Security – account for the entirety of the budget hikes, amounting to a whopping $59.5 billion.
The other 12 agencies, meanwhile, face cuts worth about $57.3 billion, combined. Here’s a breakdown of all the “winners” and “losers” in Trump’s inaugural budget outline:
INCREASE: $52.3 billion, 10 percent
The $639 billion defense proposal should go over well with hawks such as Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., who notably advocated for a $640 billion budget. The huge increase restores $52 billion to the Department of Defense and $2 billion more to other defense programs “in a repeal of defense sequestration.” Cyber security is significantly highlighted as a key area to improve as the U.S. builds a “more lethal joint force.” The budget also funds efforts “to strike ISIS targets, support our partners…disrupt ISIS’ external operations, and cut off its financing.” (Yes, the “ISIL” acronym is now officially replaced by “ISIS.”) The defense windfall also addresses warfighting readiness and shortfalls in munitions, personnel and maintenance.
INCREASE: $4.4 billion, 5.9 percent
Representing a key area where then-presidential candidate Trump promised investment, the budget increases discretionary funding for VA health care by $4.6 billion while also investing in IT advancements to improve efficiency. It also provides monetary support for VA programs that serve homeless and at-risk veterans.
INCREASE: $2.8 billion, 6.8 percent
This portion of the budget is almost all about Trump’s “big, beautiful wall” on the Mexican border and other border enforcement priorities. It gives $2.6 billion for “high-priority infrastructure and border security technology” including funding to construct a “physical” border wall. The budget supplies $314 million to recruit, hire and train 500 new Border Patrol Agents and 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement personnel and support staff. About $1.5 billion is provided for expanded detention and removal of illegal immigrants, while $15 million is set to go to mandatory nationwide implementation of the E-Verify system. Cuts include $667 million in Federal Emergency Management Agency programs that weren’t authorized by Congress and underperforming Transportation Security Administration programs.
Health and Human Services
DECREASE: $15.1 billion, 17.9 percent
Most of the cuts come from two areas – the National Institute of Health and the Office of Community Services. Eliminating discretionary spending for OCS saves $4.2 billion while NIH spending reduction checks in at $5.8 billion. A major reorganization of NIH, including an elimination of various programs and activities, is also on tap. A Federal Emergency Response Fund is created to quickly respond to health outbreaks, with the Zika virus specifically cited.
DECREASE: $10.9 billion, 28.7 percent
The budget eliminates the Global Climate Change Initiative and ceases payments to United Nations climate change programs. Funding for the U.N. and affiliated agencies is also reduced overall, as is foreign aid. The State Department’s Educational and Cultural Exchange Programs get cuts, as do multilateral development banks, “including the World Bank.” But the budget isn’t all cuts. Citing the Benghazi Accountability Review Board, money is provided to maintain “robust funding levels for embassy security,” and $3.1 billion is provided for security assistance to Israel. Economic development assistance programs are reoriented “to countries of greatest strategic importance to the U.S.” and resources are provided to fulfill a $1 billion vaccine pledge.
DECREASE: $9.2 billion, 13.5 percent
The budget eliminates numerous grants and programs, while safeguarding the Pell Grant program. Federal Work-Study is reduced and also reorganized to better be allocated to those undergraduate students most in need. More than 20 categorical programs “that do not address national needs” are reduced or eliminated.
Housing and Urban Development
DECREASE: $6.2 billion, 13.2 percent
HUD’s rental assistance program is reformed and funding is eliminated for lower priority programs and Section 4 Capacity Building for Community Development and Affordable Housing. Cutting the Home Investment Partnerships Program saves $1.1 billion and wiping out the Community Development Block Grant program saves $3 billion.
DECREASE: $4.7 billion, 20.7 percent
Numerous loan and grant programs are eliminated, staffing at USDA Service Center Agencies is reduced and funding for USDA statistical capabilities is cut. Rural Business and Cooperative Service discretionary activities are eliminated and major new Federal land acquisitions for the National Forest System get the axe.
DECREASE: $2.5 billion, 20.7 percent
The budget reduces funding for ineffective or duplicative job training grants and focuses Bureau of International Labor Affairs on ensuring that “U.S. trade agreements are fair for American workers.”
DECREASE: $2.4 billion, 12.7 percent
A proposal to shift air traffic control from the FAA to a non-governmental organization is initiated while federal funding is capped on the Federal Transit Administration’s Capital Investment Program. Several grants are eliminated.
DECREASE: $1.7 billion, 5.6 percent
A trio of energy research programs are cut in favor of private sector research. The Weatherization and Assistance Program and the State Energy Program are eliminated in attempts to reduce Federal intervention in State-level issues.
DECREASE: $1.5 billion, 15.7 percent
The budget consolidates aspects of the Economics and Statistics Administration within other statistics agencies. It eliminates two agencies: the Economic Development Administration and the Minority Business Development Agency. There are also $250 million in cuts to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration grants.
DECREASE: $1.5 billion, 11.7 percent
Programs such as discretionary Abandoned Mine Land grants are discontinued because they overlap with existing programs. Funding for major acquisitions of Federal land is reduced. Better budgeting is put in place for wild land fire suppression. About $1 billion is invested in “safe, reliable and efficient management of water resources.”
DECREASE: $1.1 billion, 3.8 percent
Despite the bottom-line getting cut overall, there are plenty of increases at Justice, including in counterterrorism and counterintelligence activities. Funds are also provided to target the “worst of the worst criminal organizations and drug traffickers.” To combat illegal immigration, the budget provides for the hiring of 75 additional immigration judges, 60 additional border enforcement prosecutors, 40 deputy U.S. Marshals and 40 attorneys. Bankruptcy filing fees are increased in an effort to produce an additional $150 million.
DECREASE: $519 million, 4.1 percent
The budget eliminates grants, shrinks the Federal workforce and “empowers the Treasury Secretary … to end taxpayer bailouts.”
Environmental Protection Agency
DECREASE: $2.6 billion, 31 percent
While not technically a full-blown Cabinet department, the EPA also is slated for major cuts, including the elimination of over 3,000 positions.
Former Reagan Economic Policy Advisor Art Laffer is very optimistic about the U.S. economy, after the Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate 0.25 percent on Wednesday.
“It’s about time rates were raised, it’s about time they got out of the market and let markets determine those rates and you will see this economy just go crazy,” he told FOX Business during an interview on “After the Bell.”
In addition to a robust jobs report in February, which showed the American economy added 235,000 net new jobs Opens a New Window., Laffer believes President Trump will continue to provide a boost to Wall Street as well.
“He [Trump] is the biggest, most bullish thing this market has ever seen and can well offset any rate increase there could be imagined by Janet Yellen,” he said, adding that “the tax cuts that Trump is proposing, the deregulation, all of that—I think you are in for a very, very large rise in asset values and a huge economy.”
I am not surprised that most in Congress do not support these cuts. They have learned to believe that all solutions must be driven from the top and be uniform across the nation. Most of the federal programs properly belong at the State level where they can be tailored and funded with greater precision to the conditions that exist in the State and localities.
The farther away government is from the people, the less the people are free to decide for themselves.
I like seeing these cuts. I think we are watching an episode of the 'Art of the Deal,' it will be interesting to watch it unfold.
President Donald Trump released his budget blueprint today, and his proposal for the Department of Energy is a breath of fresh air.
This proposal reflects the president’s priority of “[putting] America first by keeping more of America’s hard-earned tax dollars here at home.”
Opponents have pilloried the draft as anti-science, anti-clean energy, and even extreme—all of which lack merit. The reality is that the Department of Energy has gotten way out ahead of itself in recent years, inserting itself into policy areas and markets where it is not appropriate. This only distracts from the department’s core, appropriate mission.
The draft budget cuts many pet projects of both Democrats and Republicans. In particular, the request eliminates the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy program, the Title 17 Innovative Technology Loan Guarantee Program, and the Advanced Technology Vehicle Manufacturing Program.
Reporters at the Washington Post, Huffington Post, and Wall Street Journal are attacking The Daily Signal for our press access at the White House.
They are afraid The Daily Signal is providing an alternative to the usual left-wing or establishment media spin. Now, they are using their “mainstream” media megaphones to diminish The Daily Signal.
The Daily Signal exists as an alternative to the mainstream media. We are a dedicated team of more than 100 journalists and policy experts funded solely by the financial support of the general public.
We need your help! Not only are these media outlets going after our reputation, but the White House Correspondents’ Association is facing pressure to exclude us.
Your financial support will help us fight for access to our nation’s leaders and report the facts.
You deserve the truth about what’s going on in Washington.
No amount of bullying is going to stop us from covering the White House.
Make a gift to support The Daily Signal!
The budget request also scales back funding for the applied energy research programs for all sources of energy, including fossil fuels, nuclear, and renewables.
The Heritage Foundation has long made the case for Congress and the administration to make such cuts. While narrow special interests are crying “bloody murder,” this draft budget reflects broader realities that must be addressed.
Addressing the Budget Crisis
The federal government is facing a massive budget crisis, yet many in Congress—who hold the power of the purse—have failed to make tough leadership decisions. Congress has too often opted to spend more while using the tax code to dole out special favors.
This is particularly true in the Department of Energy, where both parties have stuffed the budget with research and development programs that advance their preferred energy technologies.
For example, the Department of Energy’s science budget has ballooned since 1977 from $1.4 billion (inflation-adjusted) to $5.2 billion in 2014. It has grown to include programs for nearly every energy technology imaginable—biofuels, coal carbon capture and sequestration, renewables, small nuclear, batteries, and so on.
Downsizing the Department of Energy will not solve America’s massive budget problem, but it is an important piece of the overall picture. Hard cuts are necessary to scale back programs that are not proper functions of the federal government.
The Department of Energy dabbles in far more activity than it should. This distracts from legitimate government responsibilities and often puts the government in direct competition with the private sector.
The Department of Energy needs to reset its focus on key functions like maintaining the nuclear weapons complex, efficiently addressingenvironmental cleanup, and stewarding an appropriately sized national lab program.
The administration’s budget request rightly proposes cuts and terminations of offices and programs that, while perhaps doing work that has value, rightly belong in the private sector, the universities, and other nonprofits.
When the Department of Energy intervenes in energy markets through loan programs, research, development, and commercialization, it squashes entrepreneurs that do not receive government support. Both public and private investment dollars are drawn to favored projects that the Department of Energy anoints as political winners, and other potentially promising technologies lose out.
Aside from the fact that this distorts energy markets, government intervention in the energy economy is entirely unnecessary. Energy is a multi-trillion-dollar international market, and the U.S. is home to one of the world’s most attractive energy sectors.
The private sector is fully capable of funding research and development.According to the National Science Foundation, total research and development funding in the U.S. was $456.1 billion in 2013, and 65 percent of that came from the business sector. The federal government came in a distant second with $127.3 billion in research and development funding.
We constantly hear that the momentum green energy revolution is irreversible—that lower costs and market forces are going to drive more investment in renewable technologies. Here’s an opportunity to prove it.
When the federal government withdraws its artificial support and favoritism, the renewable technologies that survive will be the ones that are truly competitive with other sources of energy.
When it comes to fashioning a budget for the Department of Energy, Congress needs to confront fiscal and economic reality. That requires making some tough budgeting decisions and recognizing that government meddling in the private sector only squashes innovation, wastes taxpayer money, and distracts from the legitimate responsibilities of government.
In putting forth this Department of Energy budget request, the Trump administration has given Congress a great place to start.
Of course the republican congress aren't on board with Trump's budget! look at the list below of poor they have helped in their states with taxpayers hard earned money (Sarcasm off)
Dishonest media hacks are lying about Meals on Wheels funding. Here's how it REALLY works
By: Chris Pandolfo | March 18, 2017
President Donald Trump is catching hell from the media over accusations that his budget will cut off funding for Meals on Wheels as part of his proposal to eliminate funding for Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs
Most of the media’s hysterics are exaggerating the effects of the Trump proposal, or being downright dishonest about CDBGs. Examine what Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Mulvaney actually said during Thursday’s press conference on the budget, in response to a question on Meals on Wheels.
“As you know, or I think you know, Meals on Wheels is not a federal program,” he began. “It’s part of that community that CDBGs — the block grants that we give to the states, and then many states make the decision to give that money to Meals on Wheels.” (emphasis added)
Stop there. What Mulvaney just said is important. The federal government cannot cut CDBG funding to Meals on Wheels because it does not give that money to Meals on Wheels. It gives that money to the states, and then some states elect to pass it along to programs like Meals on Wheels. To say that Trump’s budget blueprint targets Meals on Wheels for cuts is disingenuous.
Mulvaney continues by explaining why CDBGs are being targeted for cuts in the first place.
“Here’s what I can tell you about CDBGs because that’s what we fund, right? We spent $150 billion on those programs since the 1970s. The CDBGs have been identified since I believe the first, actually the second Bush administration as ones that were just not showing any results.”
“We can’t do that anymore. We can’t spend money on programs just because they sound good.”
To understand the issue here, it’s important to remember how the Community Development Block Grant program works. It is a “block grant” program. That means the federal government writes a check to state and local governments to spend with certain stipulations, but largely without intense scrutiny. Since the CDBGs' creation in the mid-1970s as part of the War on Poverty, the federal government has tossed over $150 billion to state and local governments.
Taxpayers are essentially being legally plundered to fund a program that only empowers local politicians and enriches their cronies.
The observable result, as Steven Malanga wrote for the City-Journal in 2005, when the George W. Bush administration targeted CDBGs for reform, is “[l]ocal officials squandered the billions by financing unworkable projects that often went bust, investing in new businesses that couldn’t survive in depressed neighborhoods, and funding social programs with little idea of how they might actually strengthen their communities.”
This program is ineffective because the administration of these funds is often absolutely corrupt. In 2013, the House Financial Services Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee identified “more than $770 million in questionable costs and included recommendations for putting $739.5 million in HUD funds to better use.” The subcommittee identified CDBGs as one of HUD’s largest programs that “lack proper oversight” and are “especially vulnerable to waste, fraud, and abuse.”
One example of such potential abuse comes from my hometown. Recently, in Rockland County, N.Y., the chairman of the county legislature has requested an investigation into the disbursement of CDBG funds. There are allegations of “missing or otherwise unaccounted for money received by the county from HUD.” According to The Journal News, “Rockland controls more than $2.38 million for more than 30 municipalities, non-profits, and community groups.”
Writing for Reason.com, Scott Shackford provides a detailed account of other instances of corruption involving the CDGB program. Further, as Shackford notes, often the money in these block grants does not actually go to service the poor. Instead, it is spent on pork projects like:
$588,000 for a marina in Alexandria, Lousiana
$245,000 for the expansion of an art museum in Allentown, Pennsylvania
$147,000 for a canopy walk at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens in Georgia
$196,000 for expanding the Calvin Coolidge State historic site in Vermont
$294,000 for a community recreational facility in New Haven, Connecticut
$196,000 for the construction of an auditorium in Casper, Wyoming
$441,000 to replace a county exposition center in Umatilla, Oregon
$98,000 for the Pearl Fincher Museum of Fine Arts in Spring, Texas
$245,000 for renovations to awnings at a historical market in Roanoke, Virginia
$294,000 for the development of an educational program at the Houston Zoo in Texas
The Meals on Wheels controversy stirred up by the media distracts from the legitimate instances of corruption, abuse, and waste that result from CBDGs. Further it is difficult to say how much funding Meals for Wheels would lose if this program were eliminated. The vast majority of the non-profit funding comes from individual contributions and grants from corporations and foundations. Only 3 percent of the budget for the Meals on Wheels national office comes from government grants, according to CNN.
The actual programs that serve senior citizens are conducted by local Meals for Wheels agencies. These local chapters receive about 35% of their funding from the US Department of Health and Human Services, under the Older Americans Act. The funds they receive from CDBGs are supplemental and vary state to state. Anyone claiming that ending the CDGB program will cut off federal funds to Meals on Wheels completely is lying or ignorant.
In consideration of the sheer irresponsible use of taxpayer dollars in the CDBG program, and in light of the fact that Meals on Wheels is not going anywhere if that particular program ends, continuing to fund CDBGs in their current form is immoral. Taxpayers are essentially being legally plundered to fund a program that only empowers local politicians and enriches their cronies.
President Trump should push ahead with ending “America’s worst urban program,” full speed ahead.
Unreal Kwic! The repubs definetly aren't on board. Trumps budget will cut off their gravy train of kickbacks for all the pet projects. That's how they all become rich once they get to congress. I hate these people.
I hear you Robin. Agree on the hate them too. They are nothing more than corrupt con men.
Bingo, Kwic! Con men indeed.
In the past presidents and Congress would routinely expand government and rubber stamp financial expenditures year after year. That’s not how President Trump does things. That’s not how you drain a swamp.
In addition to major cuts to the EPA, which routinely operates outside of its charter and in violation of its Congressional authority, the wasteful and sometimes opulent State Department, and other large money wasting bureaucracies, President Trump’s first budget proposal calls for the complete elimination of 19 federal agencies, totaling $3 billion in additional cuts.
They’re all liberal favorites, including liberal political enabling and recruitment organizations and some that are arguably anti-American. That reality alone is enough to make them Democrat favorites and targets for elimination by our patriot President. Business Insider identified 19 from the budget that President Trump has recommended be completely done away with. They can remain in their present composition as private entities under DNC control and funding if they choose. There’s no reason for the American taxpayers to be supporting their waste or their use as political tools against them, particularly if they’re on the right side of the political spectrum. Business Insider was the source for much of the information listed below:
The CPB distributes taxpayer dollars to various public broadcasting organizations. The vast majority goes to local stations — especially in rural areas. National distributors like NPR and PBS also get small portions of their budgets from CPB. The budget cuts would primarily affect local public news outlets, which receive 90% of the CPB’s $445 million budget.
A Democrat recruitment program that keeps the Democrat plantation masters in close contact with those upon which they impose dependency and perpetual party loyalty. It’s the largest program the Trump budget will eliminate and includes the AmeriCorps program established by the Clinton Administration.
The NEA supports and promotes artists across the US. It was launched over 50 years ago by President Lyndon B. Johnson, a Democrat.
The NEH provides grants to museums, universities, libraries, and scholars to support and strengthen studies in the humanities and culture. Also established by Liberal Democrat Lyndon Johnson.
An organization that coordinates agenda items across multiple federal state and local governments in the Appalachian region in the name of economic development.
An economic-development agency that serves the eight-state Delta region, including Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi.
An economic-development agency focused on Alaska formed as a pet project of then-Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska, a Republican.
Economic development in Northeast border states of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, and New York, to develop their economies.
The USTDA is supposedly aimed at promoting US exports and assisting with constructing infrastructure abroad. The agency works create US jobs by linking businesses with opportunities to export goods to other countries. It has also supported efforts to mitigate climate change by working with partner countries to develop renewable, modern, and cleaner energy sources. A black hole for the skimming of taxpayer dollars.
This agency aims to support US businesses abroad by working with private companies and developing financial infrastructure in foreign countries. The institution uses private capital and works with the private sector to help the US “gain footholds in emerging markets.” It argues that, in doing so, it helps support US foreign policy.
Established by Congress to support and invest in African-owned businesses that improve livelihoods in poor African communities. The USADF operates in 20 countries, according to its website.
The Inter-American Foundation is a foreign agency focused on developing nongovernmental organizations and grassroots groups in the Caribbean and Latin America. Why are American Taxpayers developing businesses in other countries when many Americans would like a small business loan or grant for themselves?
The Legal Services Corp. is the largest funder of civil legal aid for low-income people in the US. Not citizens, illegals who have violated our laws and other ACLU type liberal causes in addition to their supposed legal purposes of domestic violence and family law, housing and foreclosures, disasters, and veterans’ affairs.
Assists community development organizations in urban, suburban, and rural areas.
Funds 35,000 local museums and 123,000 libraries across the country.
Established by Congress in 1984, under President Ronald Reagan, with the goal of mitigating and preventing conflicts abroad.
Obviously a failed agency, tasked with coordinating national solutions to end homelessness across the US.
Functions as a government-sponsored foreign-policy think tank for academics. It was founded through the Smithsonian Act of 1950.
An independent federal agency tasked with investigating industrial chemical accidents, established as part of the Clean Air Act in 1990.