The Trump administration released on Monday a budget proposal of 4.4 trillion dollars for the fiscal year 2019 (Oct. 1, 2018, through Sept. 30, 2019). The essence of the proposal involves huge increases in military and infrastructure spending and large cuts in welfare spending. In particular, the proposed budget requests more money for missile defense in order to defend against missile threats from North Korea.
The most notable change in the proposal is an increase in military spending. The Trump administration requested 686.1 billion dollars in military spending, which is a 10 percent increase from last year’s 611.8 billion dollars and the largest since 2011. The Department of Defense asked for 12.9 billion dollars in missile defense in its proposal, saying that it would invest more heavily in missile defense system in order to prevent ballistic missile threats from North Korea. In particular, Pentagon said it would invest in Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) program and support U.S. armed forces in Korea to improve missile defense capability on the Korean Peninsula.
The budget also proposed adding 20 missiles to the ground-based midcourse defense system, which is the United States’ anti-ballistic missile system for intercepting incoming warheads in space, during the midcourse phase of ballistic trajectory flight. It also showed Washington’s strong will to defense against North Korean nuclear missiles by setting aside 24 billion dollars in nuclear deterrence spending. Pentagon also plans to add 25,900 troops and raise U.S. army salary by 2.6 percent, which is the biggest increase since 2010.
The budget also includes funding for infrastructure plan, which was one of the campaign pledges of President Trump. A total of 1.5 trillion dollars has been set aside in infrastructure spending. The funding will be mostly spent on repairing or building roads, bridges and airports. The proposal has set aside 3 billion dollars to build a wall along the border with Mexico. But the budget has proposed large cuts in welfare spending, including 236 billion dollars in Medicare spending savings and 129 billion dollars in cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps) over the course of 10 years.
Trump’s plan, however, would add 984 billion dollars to the federal deficit next year due to the Trump administration’s massive tax cut bill that passed the Congress at the end of last year.