March 16, 2017
They call it a “skinny” budget and Donald Trump’s was -- in more ways than one! There’s a new sheriff in town, and the White House’s budget proves it with deep cuts to some of the government’s bloated spending. Although the proposal is more of an exercise in vision-casting, plenty of Republicans would be happy to take Trump’s pared down projects seriously. To the cheers of fiscal hawks, the administration suggests cutting the EPA by 31 percent and the State Department by a similar amount. A longer list of programs like community development block grants, the Weatherization Assistance Program, and the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program would be cut 100 percent. Included in that bunch are two longtime targets of the GOP: the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. The latter, home to the Left’s pet media outlets NPR and PBS, would finally lose the crutch of millions of taxpayer dollars.
Mick Mulvaney, the head of the Office of Management and Budget, said all of these cuts came down to a simple formula. “When you start looking at places that we reduce spending, one of the questions we asked was, can we really continue to ask a coal miner in West Virginia or a single mom in Detroit to pay for these programs? The answer was no. We can ask them to pay for defense, and we will, but we can’t ask them to continue to pay for the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.” The military and immigration enforcement were among the few places where President Trump boosted funding, along with a dramatic shift in favor school choice programs. While he slashes $9.2 billion from the Department of Education overall, he makes good on his campaign promise to expand charter schools and vouchers by 50 percent.
When the administration fills in the blanks of the budget later this month, we’ll also see if the White House rewards sexual risk avoidance programs with a bump in abstinence education dollars. Unlike some members of Congress, who load up on earmarks in exchange for certain groups’ support, “The president’s beholden to nobody but the people who elected him, and yes, I understand that every lawmaker over there has pet projects,” Mulvaney told reporters. “That’s the nature of the beast.”
For now, conservatives should be more than pleased with the overall direction of Trump’s government. While we’re still digging into the details, the fact that Trump is trying to cut spending and defund the germinators of taxpayer-funded liberalism is very encouraging.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.