More guns, less butter: Trump's EPA, school lunches to see cuts, while defense spending will rise

Trump plans to slash the social safety net while pushing the defense budget more

Published February 27, 2017 12:48PM (EST)

 (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

President Donald Trump — who has prioritized his refusal to believe in the scientific fact of climate change from the moment he took office — is likely going to try to increase the defense budget by gutting Environmental Protection Agency funding.

The Trump administration is expected to submit its first draft budget numbers to Cabinet officials on Monday, according to Axios. One of the main policy goals of their new budget will be to significantly cut the EPA's budget, with a particular focus on the climate change programs of which Trump has long been a vocal skeptic. The expectation, according to Axios, is that he will use the savings from the EPA to increase spending on the military.

The new budget will also avoid any spending cuts to Social Security and Medicare programs, according to Bloomberg. This is consistent with the promises that Trump made throughout his presidential campaign, although it contradicts the budgetary goals of Mick Mulvaney, Trump's pick to head the Office of Management and Budget.

Trump's emphasis on military spending was most recently foreshadowed in his speech to the Conservative Political Action Conference last week.

"We’re also putting in a massive budget request for our beloved military," Trump told the gathered attendees. "We will be substantially upgrading all of our military, all of our military, offensive, defensive, everything, bigger and better and stronger than ever before. And hopefully, we’ll never have to use it, but nobody’s gonna mess with us, folks, nobody."

There are also concerns that a federal program which provides free or reduced-price school lunches to low-income children may be on the chopping block. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos joked to CPAC about being the "first person to tell Bernie Sanders to his face, there's no such thing as a free lunch," and while she may have claimed that was meant in jest, the comment becomes ominous in light of Republican efforts to gut that program as recently as last year.

By Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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