Political Editors / March 13, 2017

Rolling Back the Administrative State

Trump’s proposed budget: More military, less for other agencies.

In his speech to the joint session of Congress last month, Donald Trump highlighted his plan to increase military spending by some $54 billion. Trump will announce his budget proposal this week and, true to his speech, he intends to call for both an increase in defense spending and significant cuts for several government agencies to offset the spending increase. The Washington Post, in typical leftist hand-wringing fashion, states, “Simply put, government would be smaller and less involved in regulating life in America, with private companies and states playing a much bigger role.” Not sure where the Post came up with the notion that “private companies” would be involved regulating the lives of individual citizens, but it is accurate to note that state governments would be filling a larger role. Hello federalism.

Gary Cohn director of the National Economic Council said, “We have no alternative but to reinvest in our military and make ourselves a military power once again. If you’re doing that in an area where you have to balance the budget and you cannot create a further deficit, you have to make cuts. It’s no different than every other family in America that has to make the tough decisions when they need to spend money elsewhere, they have to cut it from somewhere else.”

And that “somewhere else” would be those agencies whose finances are tied to the discretionary spending portion of the annual federal budget. The two agencies likely to be most heavily impacted by the plan are the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, which would force a significant downsizing in agency employees. As any conservative would argue, this is ultimately a good thing, for it places the responsibility back onto local city and state governments who are closer to the issues at hand with better understanding of local situations. Once again, Trump is committed to keep his word on both building up the military and draining the Swamp.

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