US President Trump’s 2019 budget ramps up the military, security, and anti-immigration spending by billions of dollars, but cuts food and health programs for the poor and environmental protection programs.
By far Trump’s largest budgetary increase would go to the military and defense. He wants to see a US$74 billion increase over last year’s military budget proposing a $716 billion for the nation’s defense. That’s the biggest U.S. military budget since 2011.
The defense increase is mainly for intercontinental ballistic missile the administration wants to use against its biggest fear – North Korea.
The administration used the budget to step up the pressure to finish the border wall between the US and Mexico and increase immigration and security enforcement. Trump wants to seal off Mexico from the US along the 104 km stretch that is the Texas’ Rio Grande Valley for just under $US1.6 billion.
The proposal is seeking $39.8 million for the Executive Office for Immigration Review, which oversees immigration courts, and in Trump’s personal crusade against opioid users and Mexicans, his proposed budget would allocate US$31.2 million for eight new “heroin enforcement groups” to specifically target Mexican drug cartels.
Trump’s budget seeks another US$782 million to pay for 2,000 new US Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and another 750 more Border Patrol agents.
The administration also wants to increase its immigration detention facility capacity to 52,000 inmates.
Education, housing, food assistance and the environment are among several areas on Trump’s chopping block.
Trump says that after-school programs should be sharply reduced, while he proposes US$43 million will go to school-based opioid-use prevention programs.
The president’s proposal would force the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) to slash its rental assistance programs by over 11 percent, and eliminate the Community Development Block Grants which have allowed cities and communities to create development projects and expand green spaces.
“President Trump is making clear, in no uncertain terms, his willingness to increase evictions and homelessness for the families who could lose their rental assistance through severe funding cuts” National Low Income Housing Coalition president and CEO Diane Yentel said today of the slashes to HUD.
If Trump has his way the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will be slashed by a third and Medicare, a 60-year-old healthcare program for the elderly will be cut by approximately US$500 billion over the next 10 years.
According to the president the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which some 42 million Americans benefit from – mainly children – should be cut by roughly $213 billion over the next 10 years.
The administration hopes to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) through the 2019 budget.
Former presidential candidate, Bernie Sanders tweeted today of the administration’s 2019 proposal, “The Trump budget is morally bankrupt. It is nothing less than an attack on the poor and a major transfer of wealth from the middle class to the top 1 per cent.”