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Trump's 2021 Budget: Military Spending (Still) a Priority

Updated on February 12, 2020
 The total value of the budget project is $ 4.8 trillion (AP)
The total value of the budget project is $ 4.8 trillion (AP)

“With a national debt of more than $ 20 trillion, it is time to reverse the trend of increasing government spending. The president’s federal budget is obligated to exercise restraint alongside giving priority to funding to rebuild our national defense and strengthen America’s borders. ”This definition on the White House website, in the budget section, reflects the spending priorities of Donald Trump’s administration in boosting military expenditures, which he has maintained since taking office The presidency. The administration appears to have abandoned a goal Republicans have long sought: to plug the federal budget deficit within a decade. And because that seems inaccessible, the new budget bill embraced the payment of the deficit, which was aggravated by measures to stimulate growth such as reducing corporate taxes and easing tax burdens on the affluent classes, by 2035 instead of 2030.

The Trump administration revealed the fiscal year 2021 budget project (October - September) with a total value of $ 4.8 trillion, which includes an increase in military expenditures for the benefit of the Ministry of Homeland Security and the Trump Space Forces initiative, while keeping the "Pentagon" budget unchanged (738 billion). ), In exchange for a massive cut in expenditures for the State Department and its "USAID" arm, health care and food programs. A draft whose chances of approval as it stands are slim, as Congress, as the authorized body of the Federal Budget Approval, is studying the bill before it is approved

Despite his pledge, on Saturday, not to prejudice the health care budget, Trump proposes to cut the expenses of the Medicare and Children's Health Insurance Schemes, which would cause millions of people to lose health care coverage. In the framework, the project includes reducing the budget of the "Environmental Protection Agency" by 26.5% next year, in addition to reducing the expenditures of the Ministry of Health by 9%, which includes the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Protection, which will witness a reduction in the spread of the Corona virus. The reductions also affect the Ministry of Education (8%), the Ministry of Interior (13.4%), and the Ministry of Housing (15.2%). As for the largest share of the deductions, it will be allocated to the “State Department” and “USAID” by 22%. In exchange for these cuts, the project proposes to increase the expenditures of the Department of Homeland Security, while keeping the Pentagon spending steady, and increasing the budget of the American Space Agency (NASA) by 12%. It also provides for spending two billion dollars to continue building the border wall between the United States and Mexico, including parts of a length of 645 new kilometers that will be built at the end of this year.

The budget will fail to eliminate the federal deficit by 2030

Despite the proposed cuts in spending, the budget will fail to eliminate the federal deficit over the next ten years, which puts a key Republican target again missing. But the budget bill set a new goal that ends the deficit by 2035. A goal that remains unachievable unless the US economy grows at an unprecedented rate (it grew by 2.3% in 2019, the weakest since Trump took office). In his first year, the president's advisors indicated that their budget plan would eliminate the deficit by 2028, but the third consecutive budget gave up the ten-year goal, and instead proposed a 15-year goal. This new trend shows the little progress the White House is making in dealing with government debt inflation. While the President’s first budget expected that the budget deficit of 2021 would reach about 456 billion, it is estimated that the deficit will rise to about one trillion dollars for the first time since 2012, as the budget for the new fiscal year represents an increase of 700 billion compared to the levels of 2018.

Speaking to state governors at the White House, Trump said his budget project would reduce the deficit soon to zero, by reducing "waste and fraud". The White House has blamed its Democratic opponents in Congress for their failure to do so. However, Trump agreed to increase spending across the government because it was the condition under which Democrats accepted the approval of the largest US military budget. The budget seeks to demand victories in key issues that concern Trump voters: developing the economy and fighting immigration. In the first lines of the budget presentation, the US president says: “During the past three years, my government has worked tirelessly to restore America’s economic power. We ended the war on American workers and stopped the attack on American industry, and launched an economic boom that we had not seen before”.


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