On Monday, the White House announced the first few details of President Trump’s budget proposal, expected to be released within the next month. He plans to increase defense spending by $54 billion — about 10 percent of its 2017 budget. In his joint address to Congress Tuesday night, he falsely called it “one of the largest increases in national defense spending in American history.”

“It’s a little [about $19 billion] more than what President Obama had projected for 2018 … and less than defense hawks in Congress,” said Todd Harrison, the Director of Defense Budget Analysis at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. “It’s in line with what you’re expecting to see.”

[ Trump to propose 10 percent spike in defense spending, major cuts to other agencies]

This increase, like most of the defense budget, is discretionary, meaning it’s funded by budget resolutions passed by Congress and signed by the president. Other portions of the budget, most notably Social Security and Medicare, are mandatory (sometimes called nondiscretionary). With these programs, the authority to spend money is included in the law itself, so Congress doesn’t have to explicitly fund it. In most cases, then, the cost is determined by the size of the benefit and the eligible population, rather than dictated by the law.

Current defense budget:

$561 billion

$551B

discretionary

$9.6B

mandatory

Trump’s proposed increase to the

discretionary defense budget:

$54 billion

1 box =

$100M

Trump’s proposed increase to the defense budget:

$54 billion

Current defense budget:

$551B

discretionary

$9.6B

mandatory

$561 billion

Trump’s plan to fund this increase, let alone a likely tax cut, was left ambiguous — he said he would cut some discretionary funding, with little specification of which programs would be affected.

And whether the increase will happen isn’t clear, either. This announcement doesn’t constitute a budget proposal, much less an actual budget. It’s the opening act of a months-long production that will involve intense negotiations with Congress.

[ Trump seeks to parlay post-speech boost into action on contentious agenda]

Trump said he would leave Social Security and Medicare untouched, which could run into trouble with Republican leadership, who have long advocated cutting costs by reforming these programs. And raising defense spending while lowering non-defense spending conflicts with the 2011 Budget Control Act sequestration limits imposed on both types of spending. To change that law or pass the budget, Trump would probably have to get a handful of Democrats on board.

Trump’s success on those points could hinge on where — and whether — Trump plans to make up for that $54 billion. Much of the emphasis from Trump and other Republicans has been on small programs such as foreign aid, public broadcasting and the National Endowment for the Arts. “The examples that they’ve given don’t get you to the full $54 billion,” said Joel Friedman, the vice president for federal fiscal policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Programs that some Republicans

want to cut:

National Endowment for the Arts,

National Endowment for the Humanities

and Corporation for Public Broadcasting

Includes PBS and NPR

$791 million

Environmental Protection Agency

$8.6 billion

International Security Assistance

Security-related foreign aid

$12.8 billion

International Development and

Humanitarian Assistance

Humanitarian foreign aid

$24.6 billion

Programs that some Republicans want to cut:

National Endowment

for the Arts

National Endowment

for the Humanities

$148M

$148M

Corporation for

Public Broadcasting

Environmental

Protection Agency

Includes PBS

and NPR

$495M

$8.6B

International

Development

and Humanitarian

Assistance

International

Security

Assistance

$24.6B

$12.8B

Humanitarian

foreign aid

Security-related

foreign aid

If Congress follows Trump’s lead and doesn’t alter Social Security and Medicare, it would  be putting aside a huge portion of the budget where it could make up for the $54 billion increase. Those programs combined make up about 40 percent of the government’s spending, and experts say that share will probably continue to grow.

“More people become elderly and eligible, and it … gives each generation higher benefits than the previous generations,” said Eugene Steuerle, a fellow at the Urban Institute. “All the growth in government spending goes towards Social Security, health … and interest on the debt.”

Trump says he

won’t cut these

Medicare

$605 billion

$7B

discretionary

$598.4B

mandatory

Social Security

$976 billion

$5.8B

discretionary

$970.7B

mandatory

Trump says he

won’t cut these

Medicare

$7B

discretionary

$598.4B

mandatory

$605 billion

Social Security

$5.8B

discretionary

$970.7B

mandatory

$976 billion

Trump says he

won’t cut these

Medicare

Social Security

$7B

discretionary

$598.4B

mandatory

$5.8B

discretionary

$970.7B

mandatory

$976 billion

$605 billion

In 2017, programs aside from defense were budgeted $532 billion in discretionary funds, meaning they would have to take a 10 percent cut to even out the $54 billion defense spending increase. But in many cases, individual programs — whose functions include job training, scientific research and international diplomacy — could see much deeper cuts as Trump and congressional Republicans dictate priorities.

[ Perspective |  Trump says his budget will make government ‘lean.’ It’s really a scam.]

Cuts of this magnitude “would have a major effect on just about any program,” Friedman said. “The real concern is that this is one part of the budget where we make a significant amount of investments in the future — both towards promoting economic growth .. and in human capital,” so the full brunt of the impact won’t be felt for years. Steuerle agreed: “We’re on a budget for a declining economy.”

2017 budget, excluding Defense,

Medicare and Social Security:

$2.1 trillion total

Includes the small programs mentioned above

Discretionary

Mandatory

Commerce and housing credit

$2.1 billion

Energy

$9 billion

Agriculture

$25.6 billion

Community and regional development

Primarily used to grow the economy

in low-income areas and includes FEMA

$29.6 billion

Science, space and technology

Includes NASA

$31.9 billion

General government

Includes Congress, federal buildings and

election administration

$32 billion

Natural resources and environment

$42.2 billion

International affairs

$58.1 billion

Law enforcement and justice

$59.8 billion

Transportation

$108.8 billion

Education, training, employment and

social services

$127.8 billion

Veterans benefits and services

$179.2 billion

Interest on the debt

$302.7 billion

Income security

Includes public housing and government

employee pensions

$550 billion

Health

About two-thirds of this pays for Medicaid

$568.3 billion

2017 budget, excluding Defense, Medicare and Social Security:

$2.1 trillion

Includes the small

programs mentioned

above

$100M discretionary

$100M mandatory

Science, space

and technology

Natural resources

and environment

General

government

Community and

regional development

$31.9B

$42.2B

$32B

$29.6B

Includes Congress,

federal buildings and

election administration

Includes NASA

Primarily used to grow the economy

in low-income areas and includes FEMA

Law enforcement

and justice

Includes border security,

federal prisons and

civil litigation

International affairs

Agriculture

$25.6B

$59.8B

$58.1B

Commerce and

housing credit

$2.1B

Education, training, employment

and social services

Transportation

Energy

$9B

$108.8B

$127.8B

Interest on the debt

Veterans benefits and services

$179.2B

$302.7B

Includes public housing

and government

employee pensions

Income security

$550B

About two-thirds of this

pays for Medicaid

Health

$568.3B

2017 budget, excluding Defense, Medicare and Social Security:

Includes the small

programs mentioned above

$2.1 trillion

$100M discretionary

$100M mandatory

Natural resources

and environment

General

government

Science, space

and technology

Community and

regional development

Agriculture

Energy

$9B

$42.2B

$29.6B

$32B

$31.9B

$25.6B

Includes Congress,

federal buildings and

election administration

Primarily used to grow the economy

in low-income areas and includes FEMA

Includes NASA

Education, training, employment

and social services

Law enforcement

and justice

Transportation

International affairs

$108.8B

$58.1B

$127.8B

$59.8B

Includes border security,

federal prisons and

civil litigation

Interest on the debt

Veterans benefits and services

Commerce and

housing credit

$2.1B

$302.7B

$179.2B

Includes public housing

and government

employee pensions

About two-thirds of this

pays for Medicaid

Income security

Health

$550B

$568.3B

Of these, total discretionary funds

add up to:

$532 billion

This is the pool from which Trump said he

would make cuts to fund the budget increase

$54B

equivalent to proposed

increase to the

defense budget

Where Trump said

he would make

cuts to fund the

budget increase

Of these, total discretionary funds add up to:

$532 billion

$54B

equivalent to

proposed increase to

the defense budget

These proposed budget changes have a long road ahead — months of negotiations and a final vote. Though it’s possible Senate rules could change, as it stands, Republicans would need 60 votes to pass these changes. The party holds 52 seats.

“Democrats aren’t going to support this,” Harrison said. “[The budget change] is unlikely to happen.”

Source: Office of Management and Budget

Data reflect budgetary authority, as opposed to outlays. Some government agencies and functions have negative discretionary or mandatory budgetary authority, which are not shown. Excludes future disaster allowances and OCO defense funding.

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