By: Savannah Smith | 03-01-2017 | News
Photo credit: The Goldwater

Trump's Budget Plan To Cut State Spending on Anti-Semitism and Muslim Outreach

In his first address to the Joint Congress earlier today, President Donald Trump mentioned that the U.S. military will be given the resources its brave warriors so richly deserve.

This week, the President has also strongly emphasized anew his determination to rebuild the military consistent with his campaign promise of giving due priority to our forces for the protection of Americans and to regain the world's respect. As such, Trump has committed to increasing the military budget and defense spending to strengthen what he describes as a depleted military. Trump will propose boosting defense spending by $54 billion in his first budget plan. Such budget increase for the military build-up would necessitate some budget adjustments and cuts on other areas of discretionary government spending, however.

Bloomberg reported that most federal agencies other than those involved in security will have to make way for 10% higher spending on defense. Trump has given assurances, however, that the cuts won't affect entitlements including Social Security and Medicare, which constitutes about two-thirds of the $4 trillion federal budget.

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer has said that the other cuts and reductions in spending will be "sensible and rational, but they will also be tough."

Expected to be affected by President Trump's first budget may eliminate special envoy positions at the State Department for combating anti-Semitism, which probably signals a realization that such is not a priority program.

Trump's budget plan may also reduce the agency's diplomatic staff dedicated to addressing climate change and conducting outreach to Muslim communities. Trump may also do away with one of the agency's deputy secretary positions and reassign staff elsewhere. The post is in charge of the State's management and resources.

Consistent also with Trump's vow to prioritize domestic spending over foreign spending, the administration is expected to cut a substantial chunk of U.S. foreign aid.

The State and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is expected to heavily bear the brunt of budgetary cuts to make way for defense spending boost. The President is said to favor implementing major cuts to the EPA's climate change programs. Trump has always been vocal in saying that the agency has too many regulations that overly burden companies resulting to long delays for businesses trying to get approvals for new factories.

Trump perhaps summarized his commitment to increased military spending even at the expense of some programs and agencies when he said during his February 24 speech at the Conservative Political Action Program (CPAC) that his administration will be substantially upgrading all of the military whether offensive or defensive, and make everything bigger, better, stronger than ever before. The President also said hopefully the country will not have to use whatever new and modern military equipment and tools it will acquire but that from here on, nobody's going to mess up with America anymore.

Iowa Representative Steve King, although normally a fiscal hawk, is in full accord with Trump's plan to increase military spending saying that such " needs to happen". He said that military spending is a victim of sequestration for a number of years and probably resulted to the lack of military readiness now. King also said that the military spending would be good for American diplomatic power abroad especially in light of China and Russia's growing influence, and the U.S. need to counter that. He said that the reality now is the U.S. is not being respected by those powerful countries, echoing Trump's sentiment of the need for rebuilding of the military to regain the world's respect.


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