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The Brutal Austerity of Trump’s Huge 2020 Budget

The president’s wish list for 2020 mixes massive military spending boosts with slashes to Medicare, Medicaid, food stamps, housing assistance, and other domestic needs.
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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The White House delivered its fiscal year 2020 budget to Congress on Monday. As in the past, it couples drastic cuts to domestic spending with a massive boost in military funds. How massive? In a decade, this budget—the largest in federal history—would increase the debt by $7.3 trillion, more than double the $3.2 trillion that the White House projected in its 2018 budget.

In a sense, the White House’s numbers don’t matter. Even when Republicans controlled both chambers of Congress, Trump couldn’t pass his wish list; now that Democrats control a majority in the House, his budget is all but dead on arrival. Still, the White House budget will serve as a crucial text as Trump prepares to vigorously engage in the Democratic Party primary to select his challenger.