In the Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal, US President Donald Trump asked for $500 million to counter Russia’s “malign influence.”
“Counters Russian Malign Influence. The Budget provides over $500 million for assistance to Europe, Eurasia, and Central Asia to: advance shared security; safeguard the territorial integrity of U.S. allies; support partner countries’ efforts to transition away from Russian military equipment, particularly through Foreign Military Finance lending; and address weaknesses in the macro-economic environment that the government of Russia seeks to exploit, such as dependence on energy and trade,” the document reads.
Trump also asks for an allocation in the amount of $8.6 billion to build the border wall. Prominent members of the Democratic party immediately vowed to block the financing of the wall.
The POTUS’ budget plan also calls for an 5% increase in funding for US military spending and a 5% reduction in non-military spending on the country, but it does not include budget cuts for popular health and pensions programs.
The draft budget provides for the reduction of discretionary non-defense expenditures by $ 54 billion (9%) compared to the current face value, to $ 543 billion.
The most significant reductions affect the Environmental Protection Agency (-31%), the State Department (-23%), and the Department of Housing and Urban Development (-16%).
Following the reduction, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that everything Trump does is to the US people’s benefit:
“Today, President Trump has requested 40 billions of dollars for the 2020 fiscal year for the budget of the State Department and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID),” said the statement by the US foreign minister. “This request confirms the president’s commitment to protect our country and put (the interests of) America first.”
In FY2020, military spending is proposed to increase from $715 billion for 2019, to $750 billion.
“My budget is asking for 750 billion dollars for national defense, which is more by 34 billion dollars, or 5%, compared to the rate adopted in 2019 year,” the document says.
The funding for the Department of Defense will be used to provide the necessary resources to “defend the homeland, the preeminent military power in the world, ensure balances of power in key regions remain in America’s favor, and advance an international order that is most conductive to US security and prosperity.”
“The Budget enhances the military’s readiness and lethality, prioritizing strategic competition with China and Russia. The Budget also sustains efforts to deter and counter rogue regimes such as North Korea and Iran, defeat terrorist threats, and consolidate gains in Iraq and Afghanistan through a resource-sustainable approach.”
The Budget proposal completely fulfills the National Defense Strategy across DOD, and “supports dominance across all domains.” It also fully supports the creation of the US Space Force, as well as its command structure – the US Space Command. The Space Development Agency will be established in 2019 and is to foster innovation.
The POTUS also asks for $9.6 billion to bolster cyber security in 2020.
Furthermore, under current law, defense spending is scheduled to fall by 11% in 2020 as recent spending increases are replaced with sequester-level caps. The President’s budget calls for avoiding these cuts and instead increasing defense spending and additional amounts over the next decade. To avoid raising the 2020 discretionary cap on defense spending, the budget funds this year’s defense increase through the Overseas Contingency Operations (OCO) account, which is designated for war spending and not subject to the caps.
The gimmick is also repeated for 2021, after which the Administration proposes to fund almost all defense spending through the ordinary budget category.
The Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget analyzed the budget and concluded that:
“Unfortunately, like the previous two years, the budget relies on some extremely rosy economic assumptions and budget gimmicks that inflate its savings and distract from its actual policy reforms. The budget assumes real GDP growth will average around 3 percent over the next decade. This is substantially higher than estimates from other mainstream economic forecasters – who project growth rates closer to 2 percent per year over the next decade.”
And despite the FY2020 Budget planning to reduce debt from 78% of GDP to 71% by 2029. However, that is unlikely and by using realistic growth estimations, debt would rise to 87% of GDP by 2029.