The proposed budget for fiscal 2019 was released by President Trump on Monday. Totaling $4.38 trillion, the plan that calls for big increases in military spending and border security.
Trump’s administration is requesting $716 billion for the Defense Department, a 13-percent increase over 2017 levels. The fiscal 2018 budget, which still has not passed Congress, would contain $80 billion more funding for the military, for a total increase of $165 billion in Pentagon spending over two years.
According to the White House, the increase is necessary to confront “an era of increased global disorder, with a security environment more complex and volatile than any our country has faced in recent memory.” “As a nation, we face difficult times – challenged by a crumbling infrastructure, growing deficits, rogue nations, and irresponsible Washington spending,” said Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney. “
The proposal underpins the administration’s determination to reverse these trends and ensure greater prosperity for the hard-working American taxpayer. The move is a victory for Defense Secretary James N. Mattis, who said the U.S. military needed to be freed from budget caps under the sequestration deal that hampered military readiness and Pentagon planning.
The Defense Department absorbed half of the cuts required by the Budget Control Act. “The budget provides resources to enhance missile defense and to build the planes, tanks, warships, and cyber tools that the brave men and women who defend us need to deter aggression and, when necessary, to ﬁght and win,” Mr. Trump said. “Most importantly, the budget provides funds to increase the size of our armed forces and to give our men and women in uniform a well-earned pay raise.”
There’s also an increase in non-defense spending by $63 billion in fiscal 2018 and by $68 billion next year. This comes under the usual circumstance that Senate negotiators already agreed last week on higher levels for military and non-military spending in the current and upcoming fiscal years.
The budget also proposes more than $23 billion for border security and immigration enforcement programs, including $18 billion over fiscal years 2018 and 2019 to build the southern border wall. It requests $782 million to hire 2,750 additional law enforcement officers and agents at U.S. Customs and Border Protection and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
A $2.7 billion spending plan is also highlighted to pay for an average daily detention capacity of 52,000 illegal aliens at the ICE, the agency’s highest-ever detention level. The budget $200 billion in federal money over 10 years for an overall $1.5 trillion infrastructure rebuilding proposal. The federal dollars would leverage bigger investments by state and local governments, with Washington’s share of the spending offset with cuts elsewhere in the president’s fiscal 2019 budget.
A request of $85.5 billion has been made in discretionary spending for the Department of Veterans Affairs, up from $77.7 billion in fiscal 2017, for medical care, counseling, homelessness programs and other services. The VA’s current overall budget is about $186 billion.
An OMB fact sheet asserts that Mr. Trump’s new budget “curbs wasteful Washington spending.”
“The budget imposes a fiscal discipline on Washington spending that many in today’s political climate reject, yet which remains more important than ever,” OMB said. “It includes an aggressive set of spending reforms that cut deficits by $3 trillion over 10 years, reducing debt as a percentage of GDP and improving our long-term fiscal sustainability.”
The budget deal has been blasted by deficit hawks as a reckless boost in borrowing. “Over the next two years, it would raise the Budget Control Act caps by $296 billion with only a third of that being paid for,” writes Justin Bogie, a senior policy analyst in Heritage’s Roe Institute for Economic Policy Studies. “It would guarantee that about a trillion dollars is added to the debt this year and is an affront to any remaining hope of fiscal responsibility.”
According to White House projections, there’s an expected deficit of $924 billion in fiscal 2019, up from $666 billion in fiscal 2017. The 10-year budget forecast shows deficits steadily climbing to $1.27 trillion in 2028, for a cumulative addition of $10.8 trillion to the national debt.
The current national debt stands at more than $20 trillion.