As our recent paper shows, tight annual appropriations caps and sequestration budget cuts on top of them for the last seven years have caused a considerable decline in non-defense discretionary (NDD) programs, which range from education and scientific research to public health, housing assistance, and basic government operations. In this paper, which we released before President Trump unveiled his 2018 budget, we gave 12 examples of the significant shortfalls that these years of austerity have produced.
The Trump budget would intensify the NDD squeeze by cutting funding by $57 billion next year and even more over the next decade — worsening or inadequately addressing the shortfalls in 2018 in all 12 areas we examined. Here’s how the Trump budget would affect funding in those same 12 areas. (The figures below aren’t adjusted for inflation, unless otherwise noted.)
The Trump budget would deepen the current austerity in non-defense appropriations by continuing to underfund or cut a broad range of important federal investments. Policymakers should reject this approach. Instead, they should provide at least partial sequestration relief, in equal amounts, to both defense and non-defense, as they’ve done in every year since sequestration was imposed.