Trump’s Budget Proposal Previews GOP Austerity

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Now that Trump and the GOP have exploded the national deficit once again, the time has come for them to do what they always do: call for austerity for everyone except the military.

The White House released Trump's budget proposal for fiscal 2021 and it includes significant spending cuts for most federal agencies, domestic spending programs, and health care among other things.

For example, the administration is seeking an 8 percent cut to USDA’s budget over current funding levels. Trump’s plan would cut the Commerce Department by 37 percent, the Education Department by 8 percent, the Energy Department by 8 percent, the Department of Housing and Urban Development by 15 percent, and the Department of Health and Human Services by 9 percent.

The administration is also seeking a 13 percent cut to the Interior Department, a 2 percent cut to the Justice Department, an 11 percent cut to the Labor Department, a nearly 21 percent cut to the State Department and a 13 percent cut to the Department of Transportation. The EPA’s budget would see a nearly 27 percent chop, the Army Corps of Engineers would see a 22 percent reduction and the Small Business Administration would see an 11 percent decrease.

While Medicare, Medicaid, and most other domestic spending programs would be cut under Trump's budget, the Departments of Defense, Homeland Security, Border Protection, and Immigration would all see budget increases.

Now, budget proposals released by the White House are almost never adopted by Congress regardless of who is in power. White House budget proposals are more or less political documents and in this case the proposal should be seen and covered as what Trump will seek in a hypothetical second term.

This proposal -- to cut everything but security spending -- is a preview of another term for Trump. It's also a preview of what congressional Republicans will call for if a Democrats wins in November.

As soon as the next Democrat takes office, austerity will be the only thing coming out of the GOP's various mouthpieces including probably Trump himself. It would be extremely on-brand for Trump to wreck the federal budget and then spend the rest of his life tweeting about fiscal responsibility.

  • muselet

    The only thing even vaguely unexpected in Donald Trump’s 2021 budget proposal is that it doesn’t zero out any departments.

    Small mercies, I suppose.


  • mnpollio

    As I mentioned a while ago, how strange no one in the conservative mainstream media seems to be bleating about deficits and debts, etc., while their man Trump and his Republican cronies have exploded everything in sight (much as they said nothing when Reagan and Dubya did the same). We were inundated with nonstop advertisements from conservative think tanks during every Democratic administration, who all reigned in the budget. And now no calls to halt Trump’s outrageous spending from any of these “think” tanks and conservative lobbying harpies. But the moment a Democrat gets elected all we will hear from Faux News and its allies will be how the new administration should not be allowed to spend anything on anyone – no matter how worthwhile – until the budget situation is under control because the spending will kill us all in our sleep! Funny how these people have no problem with out-of-control spending when someone with an (R) behind their name does it. And remind me again why no one in the “very serious” Beltway media brings this up?