(UPI) — President Donald Trump on Tuesday released his final 2018 budget proposal, which calls for more spending on border security and immigration enforcement.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the proposed White House budget includes a request of $2.6 billion for border security — $1.6 billion of which would be for “bricks and mortar for a wall.”
The $4.1 trillion budget — called “The New Foundation for American Greatness” — proposes $607 billion in defense discretionary spending and $560 billion in non-defense discretionary spending for 2018.
A summary of the budget says that “these proposals complement ongoing efforts — including a roll-back of burdensome regulations, the reorganization of federal agencies and the reduction of the federal civilian workforce — that are a part of a new approach to support American workers and job creators.”
Trump’s budget comes packaged with tax cuts and assumes the economy will grow faster as a result, which would balance the budget by 2027.
The Trump administration said the budget would give way to $2 trillion in savings from economic growth by projecting that tax cuts and changes to welfare programs will result in additional revenue. For that to occur, the economy would need to grow at least 3 percent per year, much faster than it has recently.
The U.S. economy grew at a 2.1 percent rate in the fourth quarter of 2016.
The proposal does not include any changes to Social Security or Medicare spending.
To offset additional defense funding, Trump proposed cutting non-defense discretionary spending by $54 billion next year, which would be followed by a 2 percent decrease each year for an additional nine years. Non-defense discretionary spending includes funding for welfare programs, education, legal aid, government-funded research, diplomacy and national parks.
Trump’s budget would also cut entitlement programs for lower-income Americans, such as Medicaid.
The Trump administration also called for more spending on infrastructure and hopes to create the first-ever federal paid family leave program.
Trump’s budget is a proposal and is not likely to pass Congress as written. Congress drafts and votes on its own budget, which actually determines how tax dollars are spent. Trump can sign or veto that legislation.
Earlier this year, lawmakers from both parties passed a short-term budget deal through September. That legislation did not include many of Trump’s top priorities, including funding for the border wall, which Democrats had vowed to fight.
The Trump administration estimates the president’s budget would reduce spending by $3.6. trillion over 10 years — $1.4 trillion of which would come from non-defense discretionary spending cuts.
Mulvaney said the Trump White House budget takes a different approach to budgetary decision by using evidence-based approaches to determining budget allocations.
“We are no longer going to measure compassion by the number of programs or the number of people on those programs,” Mulvaney told reporters late Monday. “We’re going to measure compassion and success by the number of people we help get off of those programs to get back in charge of their own lives. We’re not going to measure our success by how much money we spend but by how many people we actually help.”
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