To afford a beefier military, Donald Trump intends to substantially cut a slew of government departments, like the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Labor.
Since the president has promised to maintain spending on entitlements like Social Security and Medicare, he intends to shift the burden of paying for his defense program to the government’s smaller agencies, some of which are responsible for keeping workplaces safe, monitoring air and water quality, and making sure the government’s bills are paid on time. Nearly two-thirds of the cuts come from departments that constitute only 20 percent of the budget.
His budget outline, released today, would fund some federal departments at the lowest level since the 1980s, when adjusted for inflation.
On first glance, Trump’s push to increase military spending might seem reasonable. After accounting for inflation, his proposal would fund the Department of Defense at 2016 levels1—which, you know, was only two years ago. Granted, the U.S. no longer has hundreds of thousands of troops fighting overseas, as was the case for most of the last decade. Nor does it have a belligerent rival superpower to outspend, as it did with the USSR.