Trump preparing budget with most extreme cut in government spending yet

Trump’s team is crafting a budget that would double the spending cuts put forward by House Republicans.

CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File
CREDIT: AP Photo/Evan Vucci, File

Incoming President Donald Trump’s administration is already working on preparing his budget. And it looks like it will be far more extreme than anything the Republican Party has proposed so far.

The blueprint Trump’s team is working with as it crafts the plan would cut federal government spending by $10.5 trillion over a decade, according to The Hill’s sources.

By contrast, the budget proposal put forward by House Republicans last year promised to cut spending by $5.5 trillion over 10 years. Even that number at the time was significant: the budget document itself noted that it was “higher than any previous House Budget Committee proposal.” The Republican Study Committee put forward a different proposal that would cut $8.6 trillion over a decade, although it failed a 2015 vote 132 to 294 despite Republican control.

To get such deep cuts, the Trump budget contemplates completely eliminating a number of programs, particularly at the Departments of Energy, Justice, State, Commerce, and Transportation.

On the chopping block, according to The Hill, would be the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting; the Department of Justice’s Legal Services Corporation and Violence Against Women Grants; funding for the Paris Climate Change Agreement and the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change; and the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Office of Electricity, and Office of Fossil Energy, among others.

It’s likely many other programs will be cut as well, even if they aren’t eliminated entirely. Those details are still to come, as Trump’s budget won’t be finalized for some time. A document outlining its main priorities is expected within 45 days of his taking office, while the full budget will likely be released around mid-April.

But if the House Republican budget is any guide, programs that serve the most needy are likely to be in danger. That proposal derived 62 percent of its cuts from low-income programs, such as food stamps and Pell grants, even though those programs account for just 28 percent of non-defense spending.