Trump Releases His First Budget Blueprint: Here Are The Winners And Losers

Tyler Durden's picture

Update: echoing comments made by Senator Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican who serves on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the top House Democrat said that the Trump budget proposal is "dead on arrival."

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Today at 7am, Trump released his "skinny budget", his administration's first federal budget blueprint revealing the President's plan to dramatically reduce the size of the government. As previewed last night, the document calls for deep cuts at departments and agencies that would eliminate entire programs and slash the size of the federal workforce. It also proposes a $54 billion increase in defense spending, which the White House says will be offset by the other cuts.

“This is the ‘America First’ budget,” said White House budget director Mick Mulvaney, a former South Carolina congressman who made a name for himself as a spending hawk before Trump plucked him for his Cabinet, adding that “if he said it in the campaign, it’s in the budget.”

In a proposal with many losers, the Environmental Protection Agency and State Department stand out as targets for the biggest spending reductions. Funding would disappear altogether for 19 independent bodies that count on federal money for public broadcasting, the arts and regional issues from Alaska to Appalachia. Trump's budget outline is a bare-bones plan covering just "discretionary" spending for the 2018 fiscal year starting on Oct. 1. It is the first volley in what is expected to be an intense battle over spending in coming months in Congress, which holds the federal purse strings and seldom approves presidents' budget plans.

Trump wants to spend $54 billion more on defense, put a down payment on his border wall, and breathe life into a few other campaign promises. His initial budget outline does not incorporate his promise to pour $1 trillion into roads, bridges, airports and other infrastructure projects.  The budget directs several agencies to shift resources toward fighting terrorism and cybercrime, enforcing sanctions, cracking down on illegal immigration and preventing government waste.

The White House has said the infrastructure plan is still to come.

That said, Congress controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans, is likely to reject some or many of his proposed cuts with some republicans calling the budget "dead on arrival." Some of the proposed changes, which Democrats will broadly oppose, have been targeted for decades by conservative Republicans. Moderate Republicans have already expressed unease with potential cuts to popular domestic programs such as home-heating subsidies, clean-water projects and job training.

Trump is willing to discuss priorities, said Mulvaney. "The president wants to spend more money on defense, more money securing the border, more money enforcing the laws, and more money on school choice, without adding to the deficit," Mulvaney told a small group of reporters during a preview on Wednesday. "If they have a different way to accomplish that, we are more than interested in talking to them," Mulvaney said.

The defense increases are matched by cuts to other programs so as to not increase the $488 billion federal deficit. Mulvaney acknowledged the proposal would likely result in significant cuts to the federal workforce. "You can’t drain the swamp and leave all the people in it," Mulvaney said.

A visual summary of the proposed budget changes is shown below, courtesy of Reuters:

The biggest losers:

Trump asked Congress to slash the EPA by $2.6 billion or more than 31 percent, and the State Department by more than 28 percent or $10.9 billion. Mulvaney said the "core functions" of those agencies would be preserved. Hit hard would be foreign aid, grants to multilateral development agencies like the World Bank and climate change programs at the United Nations.

Trump wants to get rid of more than 50 EPA programs, end funding for former Democratic President Barack Obama's signature Clean Power Plan aimed at reducing carbon dioxide emissions, and cut renewable energy research programs at the Energy Department. Regional programs to clean up the Great Lakes and Chesapeake Bay would be sent to the chopping block.

Community development grants at the Housing Department - around since 1974 - were cut in Trump's budget, along with more than 20 Education Department programs, including some funding program for before- and after- school programs. Anti-poverty grants and a program that helps poor people pay their energy bills would be slashed, as well as a Labor Department program that helps low-income seniors find work.

Long reviled by conservatives, the Internal Revenue Service would get a $239 million cut, despite Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s request for more funding. The Education Department would receive $1.4 billion to invest in public charter schools and private schools, even as its overall budget is cut by 14 percent. But other numbers appear to contradict some of Trump’s top priorities. One of his campaign pledges was to work to cure diseases, but the National Institutes of Health will reportedly see $5.8 billion slashed from its budget.

Trump calls for a 13 percent cut to the Transportation Department, which would ostensibly play a big role in Trump’s promised infrastructure overhaul. That includes $500 million from the TIGER grant program, which provides funding for road and bridge projects.

Trump's rural base did not escape cuts. The White House proposed a 21 percent reduction to the Agriculture Department, cutting loans and grants for wastewater, reducing staff in county offices and ending a popular program that helps U.S. farmers donate crops for overseas food aid.

And the winners

White House officials looked at Trump's campaign speeches and "America First" pledges as they crunched the numbers, Mulvaney said. "We turned those policies into numbers," he said, explaining how the document mirrored pledges to spend more on the U.S. nuclear weapons arsenal, veterans' health care, the FBI, and Justice Department efforts to fight drug dealers and violent crime.

The Department of Homeland Security would get a 6.8 percent increase, with more money for extra staff needed to catch, detain and deport illegal immigrants. Trump wants Congress to shell out $1.5 billion for the border wall with Mexico in the current fiscal year - enough for pilot projects to determine the best way to build it - and a further $2.6 billion in fiscal 2018, Mulvaney said.

The estimate of the full cost of the wall will be included in the full budget, expected in mid-May, which will project spending and revenues over 10 years. Trump has vowed Mexico will pay for the border wall, which the Mexican government has flatly said it will not do. The White House has said recently that funding would be kick-started in the United States.

The voluminous budget document will include economic forecasts and Trump's views on "mandatory entitlements" - big-ticket programs like Social Security and Medicare, which Trump vowed to protect on the campaign trail.

“There is no question this is a hard-power budget,” said Mulvaney. “It is not a soft-power budget.”

The budget requests $1.5 billion to detain and remove undocumented immigrants, and $314 million to hire 500 new Border Patrol officers and 1,000 new Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers.

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jus_lite_reading's picture

I'm going to +1 your comment a million times and pss this on. Thanks for the info. Not many know about this.

nmewn's picture

Damn, that was like the impossible to make 4kft shot in 10mph cross wind, hitting him right between the eye's  ;-)

btn's picture


Im sure that the EPA as well as many other agencies do have a lot of waste. And $300M is a lot of money, but I'm sure you'll apreciate this, as you are so agaisnt waste: an Abrams tank cost roughly $50M, and Congress continually buys more or upgrades them every year -***even when the Army doesn't want to***.  So Congress knows more about what the Army needs than the Army does? 

Annually, the Army (through Congress) wastes more money on the Abrams program than the EPA wastes on furntiure.. And while a Tank IS useful generally, it ISN'T useful specifically when each of your tanks is about 10 times better than you enemies' and you have more of them to start with.  Only China (barely) and Russia have more, but 2/3s are T-72s - the same type that were obliterated during Desert Storm.  Not to mention the fact that our Navy and Air Force would destroy most foreign armor before they even reach the battle field.

That's only the Abrams program.  Yo ucan bet that their is a LOT more than $300M waste in a $600,000M DoD budget. It's totally disengenuous and dishgonest to say you want to cut gov't waste and keep the US out of foreign military engagement and then raie the DoD budget by $60Billion.


Heck, even CHINA is starting to clean up their air and water.  Ever notice how many Asians wear face masks all the time?  It's not  style that I'm not fond of. 

Dirtnapper's picture

He needs to gut the EPA further. 

Abaco's picture

What, in your mind, gives the federal government authority to operate the EPA and issue "environmental" regulations?

New_Meat's picture

"change we can believe in"

nmewn's picture

Look at this Ned! We've got a "celebrity bureaucrat" right here on the Hedge!...the former head of the EPA!!!...lmao!

ersatz007's picture

Only one of those grey lines (increases) do I agree with: Veterans Affairs. The rest can suck it.

IronSights on'um's picture

Gotta keep the MIC pig nice and plump

Miskondukt's picture

Hadn't ZH just posted about some 9 Navy officers scandal, and wasn't there an annoucment sometime around the Olympics that the military lost a few trillion in transactional data. "ooops, money got spent but we have not idea how"

Canary Paint's picture

I know there is no reason to realistically expect this, but I would have hoped for some sort of audit of the military and processes passing through the pentagon. instead just giving them more money with a carte blanche mandate, maybe incentivize some improved efficiency...

Yeah... I get it. some secret stuff has to stay secret, but there has to be some way to at least flag some spending as on sensitive projects instead of just simply losing the money in a black hole.

This might not sit well with those hoping for a smaller government, but I think a good intermediary step to such would to let the GAO loose and listen to their conclusions. I am sure there are some super auditing nerds there that could figure some stuff out.

exi1ed0ne's picture

While I agree with you on the Military, he's gotta keep at least one part of the machine happy in order to dismantle the rest.  If I had to pick that part myself it would be they guys that could do a military coup if they sided with the swamp.  Same reason the cops are always the last department hit with budget cuts.  Those need to have the air taken out gradually, or you risk all other progress.  I don't like it, but I understand the necessity of it.

Progress is still progress though, and I'm happy with most of the cuts except NASA and the Department of Ehdumacayshon.  (Everyone has their weak spot where stealing from people is justified in their own minds to further their interests, and space is mine.  Besides, it is only one of a few things that the Gov't does that is outlined in the Constitution - effective or not.)  Nasa needs more, and the DoEdu needs to be shut down and the ground salted.

gouyou's picture

The Corps of Engineers cut is a bad one: there is some significant infrastructure issues in the country. There is probably some major refocusing to do, but if there is some real infrastructure bill coming up soon, now is not the time to reduce that budget.

exi1ed0ne's picture

Why should that be the Fed's job?  Internal infrastructure is a State responsibility.

MarkD's picture

I'm sure Israel is not on the list of cuts

nevertheless's picture

Israel is what "our" military is all about. We are not allowed to defend our own interests or borders, just fight Israel's wars.


buzzsaw99's picture

the epa should be raided like caterpillar for fraud.

gatorengineer's picture

No federal agency has done more to destroy this country than the EPA.  I am sure the countrys water and air are cleaner than any time since the industrial revolution, but that is lost on the libtard left.

indygo55's picture

How about audit the defense department and find all those lost trillions of dollars. If he finds out where they went and the waste/losses are ongoing then he can actually cut defense spending and at the same time increase it.

ToSoft4Truth's picture

Is the wall a defense project or an offense project? 

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

Silly rabbit.

It's a 'Works" project.

<And so is the extra $50B extra for the military. It's a lot of work killing all those bad guys.....collateral damage aside.>

DrData02's picture

Both! That's the beauty of it. It defends us against invaders from the south and offends the fucking Mexicans who give them passage.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

One man's waste is another man's graft, corrupt and kickback aka their income.

EhKnowKneeMass's picture

Tru dat!

Can you imagine the ROI on using a $3M dollar missile to down a $200 quadcopter? I know, I know, it wasn't the US armed forces, per se, but an "ally". Nevertheless, the replacement missile will have to come from the US, right. The CEO of Raytheon must have jizzed his pants hearing that news.

More allies of US should do that, I mean blow shit up using Patriot SAM missiles. What a deal for the MIC.

Bay of Pigs's picture

The Dept of Education and Energy could be completely eliminated.

They have both done nothing for decades.

Cognitive Dissonance's picture

But of course they have. One has been very busy conditioning our children while the other has been defending the petrodollar.

You simply misunderstand the purpose of these gvt agencies.



gatorengineer's picture

Energy gives you new nuclear weapons, and the education, indoctrinated little liberals.....

SallySnyd's picture

Here is an explanation the impact of the growing federal debt:


Unfortunately, with an intransigent and highly polarized Congress and Executive Branch, it is highly unlikely that any meaningful and long-term progress will be made to improve this situation.



NoWayJose's picture

If you read the crap he is cutting, you wonder why a country running an annual deficit ever started any of them!

Arnold's picture

Make work for the Brothas.

thunderchief's picture

Does every family in America get a set of uniforms and a ranking system with this?

Officer Corp, commissioned and non commissioned,  NCO and enlisted ranks.

Going once, going twice. 

arby63's picture

Just keep cutting. Ram it through CONgress one way or another. If CONgress balks, don't allow the agencies in question to spend their budget. Kick it back to Treasury. CONgress may own the funding mechanisms but the President owns the budgets.

koaj's picture

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.


WTF with the military spending?!?!?!

Lore's picture

President Trump has stressed his support for "defense" consistently over the years, but given modern context and recent history, shivers seem justified.

cowdiddly's picture

we are flying 40 year old f 15/16 planes. They don't last forever and they are having to scrap parts for the F22(the scrapbird) which is no longer made. The B52 fleet was designed in WWII

Your going to have to address it sooner or latter its in bad shape with brand new 5th gen PAK 50s now flying around.

Navy is as small as its been since WWII but thats a good thing as do we really need 13 carriers? I think that whole fleet should be reconfigured to strike force sizes capable of rapid reponse to terror threats and smaller hotspot type problems instead of stuck in this WWII navy mentality.

The graft and savings is in renegotiation of bloated defence contracts which are outrageous and which he is actively doing. Then that stinkin 5 sided black hole they call the Pentagon building where money seems to just disappear with no accountability and pretending there is no such thing as checks and balances on accounting needs to be GUTTED.

And close down some of those 800 bases some of which are useless.

But we need some equipment upgrades badly. Spend smarter.

Abaco's picture

We should reform the federal retirement system as well.  It is ridiculous that someone can "retire" in their 40's and then go to work either on a second pension or trading on contacts to be part of the MIC raping of the tax payer. No pensions should start being paid until the age when anyone can get social security. No COLA's.  No secretaries getting $100k plus penions. 

VA should be reformed as well. Completely take care of anyone who was injured in combat. Otherwise pay for your care like anyone else. Let them use civilian providers and do away with the majority of the VA hospitals that are money pits.  We should only have a couple of centers that specialize in treating combat injuries that are unlike things found in the civilian world.  We should be building handicapped housing for those that lost limbs instead of feedig fat contractors building stupid shit that doesn't work or costs way more than it would if VA wasn't footing the bill.

Triple A's picture

The fbi and drug enforcement agency gets more money to arrest the drug dealers and criminals... How about make drugs legal and stop this bullshit war on drugs. It's a lost cause, making something illegal you do to yourself is an exercise in stupidity.

HRClinton's picture

I have a suggestion, Donald THUMP:

Why don't you increase the DOD budget from the Trillions they have squirreled away, or can't find?

If they can't find free money - especially that kind of money - then they probably can't find their own rear end either. 

What are they good for? Cut them in HALF, and then cut them in half again! If you have McCain shot, you'd save at least $100 Billion. 

Oops, I forgot: Your one and only job is the same job that every POTUS has. It's to keep the Show / Empire going, FBO the chosen few. 

MAGA. Make AIPAC Great Again. 

Ink Pusher's picture

The CIC is a frustrated meat-puppet with the MIC and Banksters pulling his strings.

This is the way of things for as far back as I can remember.


Ol Man's picture

As a businessman, Trump's first order of business should be a balanced budget...

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

There won't be without drastically cutting defense spending, addressing the insolvency of and reforming SS, and entitlement reform; none of which he has spoken about.

Arnold's picture

As a Publicly held business, shareholder value.

He has no options in that regard.

SteveBob's picture

Balancing the budget does not matter and people do not realize this.  If taxes were completely eliminated and Federal reciepts were $0 the scale would be balanced by the Fed creating the Dollars needed to fund the government (debasing the currency).  The fact that we have any level of taxes and hides the fact that the rest comes from the Fed.  The argument over Deficits is a diversion.  The Debt is the issue and debasement of the currency.  That is why a car cost $3,000 in the 1970s and is $30,000 today.  Purposeful inflation cause by currency errosion.  Public is oblivious to how this really works....

BigFatUglyBubble's picture

So what you are saying is... END THE FED?


Sick Underbelly's picture

Ultimately, most everything .gov-related comes back to "END THE FED".

The more I read, it makes sense the libtards want to demonize Andrew Jackson, as he, on many occasions, spoke and wrote about the corruption of "central banks" while also addressing the need for We the People to constantly watch and cut off the conniving snakes.

Just about everything you need to argue the atrocity of "central banking" is set down in one or more of Andrew Jackson's writings or speeches.

Sick Underbelly's picture

FedGov workers no longer live in a proper level of fear of consequences for failing at their jobs.

This is just an issue about "deficit spending".  At $0 receipts, the Treasury would have to issue ALL bills, notes, etc (T-things) to the Fed. The goal should be to have so much $$$ receipts to not have to issue T-things, or spend so much LESS that any receipts meet or exceed those expenditures.

Deficit Spending Definition | Investopedia


Deficit spending occurs whenever a government's expenditures exceed its revenues over a fiscal period, creating or enlarging a government debt balance. Traditionally, government deficits are financed through the sale of public securities, particularly government bonds.


But  but but...the Fed has to receive something from the Treasury (bills, notes, etc.) to create a ledger entry, then a "credit" can be received by Treasury/Gov of unicorn digits and Federal Reserve Notes.

The FED does have to get "something" to show, utlimately, that taxpayers are in debt...something to "prove" the claim they "did work" and are owed "interest".

People don't pay attention to the $Trillion+ T-things changing hands that are auctioned and account for the deficit spending.  It's one thing to budget, and another when that budget isn't met, "Ooops!  We fired 530 extra missiles at $3 Million each, but we had to do it to keep the ISIS terrorists from killing your babies and women!  So, $1.59 Billion is just going to have to be financed.  At least we're all safe!"

They've purposefully made this a hoodwink shit-show of smoke-and-mirrors, slight-of-hand, and no substance, regardless of sticking to a budget.

The way the Constitution was originally set up was this:

a) Congresskritters thoroughly debated and argued the necessity of the items claimed by each agency before they passed a bill of apportionment.

b) Congress said the Federal Government needed some sum of money.  It passed a bill of Apportionment.

c) The States, based on population/representation, were individually given a dollar value of their "portion" of the sum

d) Each State was responsible for raising the money as they deemed fit.

This, in the long run, is the only sane way to make this work.   If  FedGov has to beg for money, and they are only given $X to live on, living under the threat of no employment if they fail, we can keep the beast in check.

Conversely, we have almost the polar-opposite:   they recklessly spend and are out of check, fear no consequences for wasting and inefficiency, and tell US if they want, after the fact, that they overspent. 

slightlyskeptical's picture

You just get rid of debt based money and the fed. Get rid of fractional reserve banking at the same time and the huge printing comes with very little inflation.