With Billionaires in the White House We Need to Keep an Eye on the Money

With Billionaires in the White House We Need to Keep an Eye on the Money

It’s been reported that the Authoritarian wants to increase the Pentagon’s share of the Federal budget by 10% which translates to about $59 billion more dollars.  A report has circulated that the EPA will be cut by at least 20%, including staff and dollars.

The Federal Budget is divided into three parts as shown below.

  • Mandatory Spending (like Social Security)–$2.5 Trillion
  • Discretionary Spending (like Education, Defense)–$1.1 Trillion
  • Interest on the Debt–$229 Billion

If the President submits a budget that includes a $59 billion increase in spending, the money for this is part of the Discretionary Spending which is about a third of the total Federal budget.  Mandatory spending is spending on certain programs such as Medicare and Social Security, and are controlled by existing law. Mandatory spending has increased over the years, and is expected increase from $2.2 trillion in 2016 to $3.6 trillion in 2023.

It’s the Discretionary spending (shown below) that enables the Congress and President to variably change the spending on various departments in the Administration.  However, Discretionary spending has decreased as a share of the Federal budget during the time that Mandatory spending increases.

Because the new administration is a champion of denial–denial of science, and facts, such as the climate has changed because of the actions of humans.  This refusal to accept the work and ideas of science has led to a “climate” of denial, which will result in serious changes in the ways that the various departments function.  The EPA, the department that was created by Richard Nixon in 1970 to protect human health and the environment by writing and enforcing regulations based on laws passed by Congress, has a department head that sued many times the very department he heads.

On the other hand, the same administration has stoked fear by condemning Mexicans, Muslims, and people who seem to be different from the people that surround the President.  Building walls, increasing the nuclear arsenal, and pouring more money into the Pentagon are billion dollar boondoggles sold as a remedy for the fear that has been instilled into America.

So, the Authoritarian wants to mess with the Discretionary budget by lofting $59 billion dollars over to the Pentagon (which has a 54% share in the Discretionary budget already), and at the same time, gutting other departments to fill in the gap.  The other departments have much lower budgets, and if we are pour $59 billion more into the Pentagon, this money will be taken from the various department, Energy & Environment, International Affairs, Housing, Education, and so forth.

How we spend money is directly linked (influenced) to our values and moral beliefs.

I am reminded that President Eisenhower, in his farewell address, warned us to keep a careful eye on of the Military-Industrial-Complex.

Fifty-six years later, we need to keep an eye on Washington, and Authoritarian that inhabits the White House more than ever.


About Jack Hassard

Jack Hassard is a writer, a former high school teacher, and Professor Emeritus of Science Education, Georgia State University