Tax & Budget

What to Expect out of the Trump Budget


Trump is expected to release his proposed budget for FY19 on Monday, February 12. Remember: Congress—not the President—funds the government. But the President’s Budget is an important statement of values for which we should hold Republicans accountable.

“DBA: Dead Before Arrival”

Trump’s budget proposal is just that: a proposal. It is non-binding. Expect members of Congress from both parties to call the budget dead on arrival. The President is required by law to propose a budget for each fiscal year, but it has increasingly become a document ignored by members of Congress. MoCs want to write their own funding bills (another process that is entirely dysfunctional)—so they will mostly brush off the President’s Budget.

The President’s Budget is even less relevant than usual this year because Congress just came to their own agreement on budget levels for both FY18 AND FY19. So they are REALLY not looking for his input this time.

What to look for in this budget

Nevertheless, the President’s Budget is a statement of values from the White House that shows how their priorities are reflected in budgetary terms. Putting out a budget that gives yet another huge increase to the military while slashing programs families rely on demonstrates what Trump really wants to do and who he cares about. It makes clear for the world just how hollow his promises really are.

How much revenue did Republicans really blow on the #GOPTaxScam? The Republicans’ tax bill will add $1.5 TRILLION to the deficit, in order to give huge tax cuts to the wealthy and corporations. The President’s budget typically shows revenue projections for the next decade, so we’ll know from those tables whether Trump intends to continuing lying about the negative fiscal impact of his Tax Scam and just how much those tax cuts for the rich are costing the rest of the American people.

What programs are Republicans cutting to pay for their Tax Scam? It’s no secret that the Trump Administration wants to make deep cuts to Medicaid, housing, nutrition assistance, legal aid, and other programs that families rely on. That’s the true cost of their tax cuts, since they were never actually going to pay for themselves. His budget will make clear just how much he prefers pouring money into the pockets of the wealthy over supporting programs that help families get ahead.  

Does Trump really want to fix our infrastructure? His budget is a statement of his priorities. Last year, his proposed budget would have blown out the tire of our nation’s infrastructure, making deep cuts to federal programs that keep our nation and our economy running. It would have cut $95 billion from the HIghway Trust Fund, undermining 250,000 jobs; and made a $1.2 billion cut to federal transit funding. It would have jeopardized modernization of our electric grids and it would have cut funding for key programs under the Army Corps of Engineers. With his infrastructure plan expected to be announced on the same day as his budget, will this year be the same?

How high does his budget elevate the #TrumpThreatLevel? Trump’s misguided “America First” approach will likely be on full display, with big cuts to the programs that keep us most safe, in order to pour more money into defense contractors’ pockets. Trump has so far spent his time in office insulting our allies, isolating us in the world, destroying our global credibility as leaders, and ramping up tensions that fuel conflicts. Will his budget do more of the same?