Congressman Alan Lowenthal (CA-47) today issued the following statement on President Donald Trump's FY2018 budget proposals:
"Tonight the President is expected to present his vision of America to a Joint Session of Congress. I hope it is positive, inclusive, and helps heal the wounds of a divided nation. I have my doubts.
"One of the key features of his speech is expected to be his elaboration on his Administration’s budget proposal.
"Yesterday, the President announced his realization that healthcare is complicated. He may yet discover that a federal budget is just as, if not more, complicated. The broad strokes of his FY2018 budget outline released yesterday call for massive increases in defense spending, at a time when the US already spends more on defense than Russia, China, the U.K., France, Germany, and India combined.
"To pay for this military buildup, the President’s final budget almost certainly must contain draconian cuts to nearly every non-defense federal program. Some of the targets he has already suggested? The EPA? Slashed. The State Dept? Slashed. In addition, we expect attempts to repeal the Affordable Care Act and potentially significant cuts to science and arts funding.
"Perhaps most egregious is the President’s notion that eliminating U.S. foreign aid—which represents less than 1 percent of the federal budget--will somehow put America first and make us safer. Presidents and Congresses since the end of WWII have understood that providing aid to war-torn and poverty-stricken nations around the world is one of the most cost effective ways to ensure stability and the spread of democracy. Our aid to nations in need also makes the world a safer place, and ultimately prevents the need to put American soldiers in harm's way.
"We have the most powerful military in the world, bar none. Our military forces are the best equipped, the best trained, and the best supplied. We should be focusing on peaceful ways to address international problems and not on making our already second-to-none military even larger. "