Trump proposes huge hike in military and police spending (and huge austerity cuts to domestic services)

(While the fake news and the unDemocratic Party distract us with tall tales of Russian boogeymen, The Donald is busy imposing reactionary neoliberal austerity cuts to America, turning us into Chile 1973.)

by Patrick Martin, WSWS

The Trump administration sent instructions to federal agencies Monday proposing a $54 billion increase in spending for the Pentagon, the intelligence agencies and the Department of Homeland Security, to be offset by $54 billion in cuts for other agencies, mainly those involved in domestic social services and regulation of business.

Trump’s budget outline sets the stage for his first address to Congress on Tuesday. It provides further evidence that the Trump administration will be dedicated to radically rolling back social spending to finance a dramatic escalation of military operations, both in the neo-colonial wars in the Middle East and against the United States’ ‘great power’ rivals: China and Russia.

Federal departments are being told to file budget requests for the fiscal year that begins October 1, 2017 based on the numbers they were given by the Office of Management and Budget. Each agency will be responsible for working out the cuts required to meet proposed reductions, while the Pentagon, CIA and DHS will propose expanded operations with the additional funds they are to be awarded.

There were no details made public about the exact budget ceilings given to each federal department, but White House officials made it clear that foreign aid programs in the State Department and anti-pollution regulation through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) would suffer some of the largest cuts.

The total budget of the EPA is only $9 billion, so many other domestic programs are certain to be hard-hit, involving such departments as Education, Labor, Transportation, Agriculture (which includes food stamps), Housing and Urban Development and Health and Human Services.

The biggest federal social programs, Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid, are not affected by the budget order, which involves only funding for so-called discretionary programs, those financed through annual congressional appropriations. Entitlement programs, where benefits are paid out automatically to those who establish their eligibility, are covered by a separate budget process…

[read more here]

13 Responses

  1. I loathe Trump, but the WSWS post is scaremongering about what Trump might do, or could do, or is talking about possibly considering doing. Congress creates the federal budget. Trump’s OMB merely proposes a budget. We can’t know anything until the OMB issues a formal budget proposal, which the Congress will then modify dramatically. That process will take months.

    In attacking Trump, the corporate media outlets pretend that federal dollars are physical and limited, and therefore an increase in one place will oblige a cut in another place. That is true for you and me, and for state, county, and municipal governments, but it is not true for the U.S. government. The federal budget (drawn up by Congress, not the president) declares how much money the U.S. government will create out of thin air, and how much money the U.S. government will send back into thin air via taxation.

    Let’s wait and see what Trump’s OMB formally proposes. Then we will have something definite to review. McCain is already whining that no Trump increase for weapons makers can possibly be large enough.

    • Keep pushing the MMT message. I couldn’t agree more.

      But Trump doesn’t believe it and I doubt that there is a single member of congress who understands the system.

      • Everyone understands the truth, since everyone knows that the U.S. government can “print” infinite dollars, and therefore does not need to borrow or to collect tax revenues. However politicians pretend that the inexhaustible well is about to run dry, in order to make us grovel before them. Bankers lie so that we are forced to take ruinous loans from them. And average people lie in order to justify their hate. “What? You mean other people get government benefits like I do? Outrageous! The U.S. government is bankrupt!” This lie, this mass pretense, is the main reason why we have social stratification, plus the ever-widening gap between rich and poor.

        Trump is lying too. On 8 May 2016, Trump admitted that no federal program can ever become insolvent, since the U.S. government can simply “print the money” (Trump’s words). Everyone considered Trump’s words to be outlandish, since everyone knew they were true. The emperor has no clothes, but you can’t admit this in public.

        Bernanke and Greenspan also admitted the truth, many times.

        • “Everyone understands the truth, since everyone knows that the U.S. government can “print” infinite dollars, and therefore does not need to borrow or to collect tax revenues.”

          I can assure you that very few people understand.

          • Who does not understand that the U.S. government can “print” all the dollars it chooses to?

            • Yes, the US government can do this and has been doing it. This works as long as the US dollar remains as the world’s reserve currency. This also explains, of course, why any nation daring to propose otherwise (see Libya) will be subject to regime change operations. Incidentally, Exxon has signed massive deals in the oil-rich north of Iraq, hence the US government support for the Kurdish region in that country.

            • I think very few people understand the monetary system. I’ve never met a banker that understood it. People would rather believe Fed conspiracy theories.

      • Alan Greenspan: “There is nothing to prevent the government from creating as much money as it wants.”

        Alan Greenspan: “The U.S. government can pay any debt it hasm since we can always print money. So there s zero probability of default.”

      • If you (like the U.S. government) could create infinite money by simply using your computer to change the numbers in your bank account, would you ever become “insolvent”? Would you need tax revenue? Would you need loans? Would you need any form of income at all?

        No, no, no, and no.

        The great lie about money is even more widespread and more pernicious than the lie about the “six million.”

  2. Incidentally, the World Socialist Web Site (above) is not bad, but (a different web site) is fake leftist.

    For example, SocialistWorker frequently carries posts by Ashley Smith, a neocon who adores the murderous “white helmets,”™ and who cheers for imperialism and war, especially the war on Yemen and the proxy war on Syria.

  3. The ADL wants Trump’s head.

    At a the White House gathering of state attorneys general from around the USA, Trump was asked by Josh Shapiro, the attorney general of Pennsylvania, what Trump planned to do about the massive wave of (non-extent) attacks on Jews worldwide.

    According to Shapiro, Trump said, “You’ve got to be careful. It could be the reverse, trying to make people look bad.”

    In other words, let’s not ignore false flags perpetrated by Jews themselves, or by Trump’s political opponents.

    The ADL is furious, and is demanding clarification.

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