May 23, 2017
One of the biggest selling points of Donald Trump's candidacy was his business experience. Now, as head of the largest company he's ever managed -- the federal government -- the longtime real estate mogul is trying to make America financially solvent again. It's a tall task, even for someone of Trump's experience. But today, he rolled out his vision for ending the decades of debt and taxpayer waste with his first White House budget.
Building on the one-pager it released last month, the White House put teeth behind its promise to stop the economic bleeding. Under the president's plan, the budget would balance in 10 years -- thanks, in large part, to some overdue cuts in discretionary spending and tax and welfare reforms. "This is, I think, the first time in a long time that an administration has written a budget through the eyes of the people who are actually paying the taxes," White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters. Republicans will be thrilled to see that Trump is giving our troops a much-anticipated boost after eight years of living off a shoestring budget that shrunk the Army to World War II levels. As he promised, the president hiked defense spending by almost a half-trillion dollars, while at the same time slashing nondefense spending by a whopping $1.6 trillion. That wipes out a huge piece of the federal deficit without compromising American security.
Pro-lifers couldn't be happier to see that the budget builds on Trump's already long list of accomplishments -- with proposals to do everything from defunding Planned Parenthood in programs like Medicaid (which the Obamacare repeal bill would accomplish) to slashing their funding from Title X "family planning" programs. When our experts combed through the text earlier, they noticed that the $101 million in teen pregnancy prevention funds was missing -- suggesting that Trump is hoping to totally eliminate it. That would be great news for conservatives, who've seen from the government's own studies how ineffective the Left's message has been. Even better, the administration wants to focus on sexual risk avoidance (abstinence) education. Like a lot of conservatives, we were happy to see the president embrace the approach, especially after new research has shown the incredible benefits for teenagers -- in all areas of life. The budget also proposes eliminating international family planning by $523 million and ending funds to UNFPA, currently funded at $32 million for "population control" efforts overseas.
In a positive shift from the previous administration, Trump's budget defunds the controversial D.C. assisted suicide measure. It also ends the outrageous option of elective abortion for illegal immigrants under a new ICE provision that also gives conscience protections to the agency's employees. The biggest prize, the end of the abortion era for Global Health Programs, carves out another $523 million, which usually pays for drugs and devices that can destroy human life. Add that to the debate over paid leave for parents, and Trump has delivered what could be one of the most family- and wallet-friendly plans in recent memory. How far it gets will be up to Congress -- and all of us.
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.