Trump’s new budget: at the expense of people
President Trump has released his budget request for 2020 and military spending figures are exorbitant: his Administration goes even further than last year by increasing an already enormous military budget by a 5 percent to $750 billion, which would be done at the expense of programmes that protect the most vulnerable and the climate.
A 57 percent of the $1.3 trillion discretionary budget would go into the Pentagon and nuclear weapons. For the former, the never-audited and most corrupt agency, the budget also uses a trick to allocate an extra $165 billion through the Overseas Contingency Operations, more than doubling funding for the previous year. Other controversial beneficiaries are the “United States Space Force (USSF)” proposed as a sixth branch of the Armed Forces, the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) of the Dept. of Energy (with an 8.9 percent increase for even more nuclear weapons proliferation), and for customs and borders agencies.
The opportunity cost rarely seems that obvious: the budget proposal includes massive cuts to agencies that actually meet human needs, like the Department of Education (down 12 percent to $62 billion), Housing and Urban Development (down 16.4 percent to $44.1 billion), Department of Transportation (down 21.5 percent to $21.4 billion), and the Department of Labor (down 9.7 percent to $10.9 billion).
Among the hardest hit are the Environmental Protection Agency, brought down 31 percent to $6.1 billion, and the non-nuke portion of the Department of Energy, down 25.4 percent to $15.2 billion.
Trump’s administration justifies this budget as a provider of “a robust and rebuilt national security”, and a protector of the American people, the homeland, and the American way of life. They claim that given global challenges and the “erosion of the US comparative military advantage”, it will serve “to preserve peace through strength”. Nothing further from reality, this budget, if approved, could only bring more insecurity, inequality and war. Not only it disregards peace, human security and human needs, it goes right against them.
This budget should therefore find the most energic of oppositions, and is perfect prove that our campaign is now more essential than ever.
Demilitarize, invest in people’s needs!
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