March 16, 2019

The President’s $4.7 trillion budget was released early this week. While Congress has usually ignored past White House budgets, and Democrats have already labeled it a “non-starter”, it gives us an indication as to what the President plans to focus on in the upcoming year.

In a nutshell, the President proposes to increase military spending while cutting $2.7 trillion of non-defense spending over ten years. He also leaves the spending caps in place as implemented by the Budget Control Act. However, Senate Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) are already working on a deal to undermine that effort. They are currently working on a two-year increase to the budget caps which would continue to drive the United States into further debt.

Of course, one of President Trump’s biggest initiatives is border wall funding. He requests $8.6 billion to build the wall which would consist of $5 billion from Congress and $3.6 billion from the military construction budget. This means that the President is still holding strong on his promise to finish the wall.

Other initiatives in the budget include work requirements for welfare recipients, establishment of the Space Force, and reduction of funding for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).  He also proposes to make the tax cuts permanent which would raise revenue from $3.6 trillion in 2020 to $6.3 trillion in 2029.

As with any budget, there are downsides to this one. Ivanka Trump’s federally funded child care and family leave initiatives in this budget would only create more entitlement programs.  Studies have shown that federally funded pre-K and Head Start programs have been harmful to children. Once the federal government has financial ties to our child care programs, the same is bound to happen.

Ivanka’s family leave plan follows the same path. If the government provides maternity leave benefits, businesses will be more unlikely to implement a better plan when they otherwise would have. Taxpayers would also be on the hook for paying for such a benefit. In a recent survey, 74% of Americans were in favor of federally funded leave. When they learned how much it could cost them, that number significantly dropped to 43% in favor. Also, a majority of Americans are against this program if it causes cuts to major programs such as Social Security, Medicare, or education and if it increases the federal debt.

Eagle Forum applauds President Trump on many of his budget proposals that boost our economy and cause American families to thrive. Congress will follow up with their budget in the upcoming weeks.