On Thursday, the Trump administration released its 2018 budget proposal. The document is more symbolic than anything else at this point, serving as a kind of wish list that signals to Congress what the president wants to get done in the next four years. It is also, like much else in these first 54 days of Trump's presidency, cruel and incompetent.
Three big agencies see their discretionary funding increase under this budget: the Defense Department, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Department of Homeland Security. If you build or just happen to really like F-35 fighter planes, you're in luck, because the federal government wants to buy a whole lot more of them.
Now let's get to the cuts.
As The New York Times reported on Wednesday night, Trump's budget proposes cutting the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s $3 billion Community Development Block Grant program. That means eliminating the funding for Meals on Wheels, a service that provides food to seniors who are in need or homebound. In another move going after seniors, the budget would also kill a program run through the Labor Department that helps low-income seniors find work.
The proposal would also slash the Environmental Protection Agency's budget to its lowest levels in nearly four decades, cutting its funding by more than 30%. Those cuts would mean, among other things, totally eliminating more than 50 programs and 3,200 jobs, according to The Washington Post.
The State Department is the second hardest hit agency after the EPA, with a 29% budget reduction, axing climate change prevention programs and decreasing funding for United Nations peacekeeping efforts.
There are also crippling cuts proposed for public arts funding, as summarized by the Post:
Eliminates all $148 million for the National Endowment for the Arts and all $148 million for the National Endowment for the Humanities
Eliminates the $230 million Institute of Museum and Library Services
Eliminates the $445 million for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, which supports public television and radio, including PBS and NPR
The administration is calling this "skinny budget." You might call it a disaster.