By Natasha Bach
March 11, 2019

President Donald Trump sent his “Budget for a Better America” fiscal year 2020 budget proposal to Congress on Monday.

The budget request totals a record-breaking $4.75 trillion. Here’s what it includes.

Budget Increases

One of the biggest areas of proposed budget increases is military spending. Trump requested $750 billion for FY2020, a nearly 5% increase in this area, which exceeds what the Pentagon had asked for.

Trump also requested additional funding for the construction of the U.S.-Mexico border wall. Despite Congress already earlier denying his demand for $5.7 billion for the wall, the 2020 budget now requests $8.6 billion to build it.

Beyond military and security spending, Trump included in the budget funding for efforts to combat the opioid crisis, a 10% increase in health care spending for veterans, $200 billion in infrastructure spending, spending to reduce the cost of prescription drugs, and increased resources for school choice, including federal tax credits.

Budget Cuts

The budget cuts, on the other hand, are more significant, affecting areas such as education and environmental protection and totaling $2.7 trillion.

The 2020 budget proposes a 5% cut at non-defense federal agencies, including a total of $1.9 trillion in cuts to safety net programs like Medicaid. Trump also proposed new work requirements for Medicaid recipients and turning more power over to states. On Medicare, Trump called for an $845 billion budget cut.

Other agencies that would see budget cuts include the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, the Transportation Department, and the Department of the Interior, affecting matters such as foreign aid, federal employee retirement programs, and clean energy.

A Not-So Balanced America

While Trump proposes significant budget cuts to a number of domestic programs, his budget would not balance for 15 years. Trump himself made a campaign promise in 2016 to pay off the national debt in eight years and earlier suggested that a balanced budget would be a reality in 10, but the budget forecasts trillion-dollar deficits through 2022. These deficits build on the already $22 trillion of national debt.

However, this 2020 budget is not the one that Americans will see. Presidential budgets, while required, are often ignored by Congress, which has control over actual spending levels.

With a divided government, it is unlikely that all of the components of Trump’s 2020 budget will see the light of day. If nothing else, it simply provides an idea of Trump’s continued vision for the U.S.—and his re-election campaign priorities.

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