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There's a problem with Trump's plan to pay for a $54 billion defense increase with cuts to other agencies

Andy Kiersz

On Monday, administration officials told various news outlets that President Trump's forthcoming budget proposal will include a $54 billion increase in defense spending. To pay for it, the Trump administration plans to cut the budgets of domestic agencies including the Environmental Protection Agency, the State Department, and various foreign aid programs.

However, as Business Insider's Linette Lopez pointed out, it's actually really hard to pay for increases in defense spending by only targeting domestic agencies outside of major entitlement programs like Social Security and Medicare.

Indeed, according to the Fiscal Year 2017 US federal budget, the total estimated outlays for FY 2016 from the EPA, State Department, and International Assistance Programs adds up to about $55 billion, meaning that President Trump's budget would need to nearly completely eliminate those agencies in order to pay for the proposed defense increase.

It is worth noting that the President's budget proposals are only a starting point for the overall process of figuring out what the government will spend and how they will pay for it, and we still haven't even seen the full details of the White House's proposals.

But if the final proposal does include this defense increase, Trump will likely need to find other ways to pay for it.

trump defense increase vs civilian agencies

(Business Insider/Andy Kiersz)

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