Trump Budget Proposes Massive Cuts In Foreign Aid And Diplomacy Programs To Pay For More Weapons

The Associated Press reports:

U.S. officials say the Trump administration is proposing deep cuts in spending for diplomacy and foreign aid programs to help pay for increased military spending.

Officials familiar with the proposal say it calls for slashing 37 percent of the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development budgets. Development assistance would take the biggest hit. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to discuss the spending plan publicly before it is presented to Congress.

In the current fiscal year, the State Department and USAID got $50.1 billion, a little more than 1 percent of the total federal budget. Officials say a 37-percent cut would likely require reductions in staff, including security contractors at diplomatic missions abroad.

More from CBS News:

More than 120 retired generals are making what may seem like a surprising defense of government spending on diplomacy. Their unified perspective is expressed in letter to congressional leadership and was prompted by an announcement of major cuts to the non-defense budget and a corresponding increase of $54 billion to defense spending.

The generals quoted Defense Secretary James Mattis to illustrate their point that foreign policy is not monolithic, and that diplomacy and defense are equal partners in U.S. policy. “As Secretary James Mattis said while commander of U.S. Central Command, ‘If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more ammunition.’”

The signatories of this letter disagree that foreign policy should be approached purely as a militaristic endeavor. One signer is Marine Gen. John R. Allen, a retired United States Marine Corps four-star general, former top U.S. commander in Afghanistan, and 2014-2015 Special Presidential Envoy for the Global Coalition to Counter ISIL appointed by President Obama.

“Cutting the State Department budget by 30 percent is consigning us to a generational war. We cannot fight our way out of this. It is an issue which can be decided by decisive diplomacy and enlightened development,” General Allen told CBS News.

And from the progressive Common Dreams:

“If this is an effort to put America first, it’s a complete misfire,” said National Priorities Project’s Research Director Lindsay Koshgarian. “America has long been first when it comes to military spending and military strength. But we’re not first when it comes to education, health outcomes, or economic mobility. Those are the areas where we need to invest more. This budget does exactly the opposite.”

The proposal involves cutting domestic spending for programs like the National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting and others. The identified cuts amount to approximately $3 billion – far less than the $54 billion proposed.

“The proposed cuts are not just inadequate to fund the proposed military increase, they’re also ill-advised,” Koshgarian said. “Foreign aid and diplomacy are often understood as simply a humanitarian or charitable endeavor, but it’s far more strategic than that. U.S. diplomacy and foreign aid are carefully targeted to support stability in parts of the world where the U.S. has important safety or national interests. They’re recognized by military leaders as a necessary tool in their toolbox. You can’t solve every problem with a gun.”

  • Lazycrockett

    Right cause who needs diplomacy when you can just nuke em?

  • geoffalnutt


    • Cuberly


    • Joe in PA

      Betsey Devos’ brother: Blackwater.

      • Pilot Nozzle

        Bulls eye, Joe.

    • Todd20036

      Benghazi II, III, IV, …

      • teedofftaxpayer

        And then blame it on President Obama or Hillary.

  • Tomcat

    What Trump knows about being presidential could fit in a thimble and have room to turn around.

    • Tor

      It’s unpresidented.

  • Paula

    There is no hope.

  • Tomcat

    Hey Trump, we could save a fortune if we got rid of Congress and your cabinet.
    You could just rule all by yourself.

    • KarenAtFOH

      Don’t be shocked if that happens tonight. It has to happen eventually — it’s the course Trump is on.

    • Ross

      It’s called the Hitler Plan.

      I am serious.

  • PickyPecker

    Weenie Ryan was on Today this morning moaning about how our military has been ‘hollowed out’ the past 8 years or so.

    • Ernest Endevor

      Would he be referring to the sequestration imposed by Republicans’ refusal to negotiate with president Obama?

    • Joe in PA

      My neighbor site that as a reason to vote for Trumpee…guess she’s happy now. But a one-second google search reveals: (from when asked if the US military is stronger than it’s nearest competitor):

      By Daniel Kearns, former paratrooper with the 82nd Airborne Division

      1,000 times. Maybe more.

      No other military or combination of militaries could even begin to inflict the slightest numbers of casualties on the United States military in a conventional war.

      Consider: The U.S. spends close to what the entire rest of the world spends in defense. $711 billion. Per year. The next closest is China at $143 billion.

  • Tomcat

    Well congress are you willing to just stand back and let this fool destroy America?

    • Paula

      The majority of them are.

    • Kelly Lape

      The GOP will put up with anything for a tax cut.

  • Tor

    More sticks. Fewer carrots.

    • Tomcat

      More like more nukes, less talk.

    • BuffaloDan

      More pins. More carrots…?

  • Tomcat

    Is there ANY way taxpayers can demand he be checked for mental illness?

  • Tomcat

    Well on our way to becoming a military state.

  • bkmn

    Meanwhile, trying to appear relevant Lindsey Graham says
    “that President Donald Trump’s budget outline is “dead on arrival” and that proposed cuts to State Department funding “would be a disaster.””

    • Tomcat

      Congress is the owner of this monster.

    • HZ81

      I’m so glad the “ZOMG Benghazi security” Republicans are going to yet again cut consulate security.

      Just like the security they cut that enabled Benghazi—the worst thing ever— to happen in the first place.

      God, I fucking hate these people.

      • Todd20036

        I’d hate fucking them, which is why I never date republicans.

        • HZ81

          Right? They take all the fun out of hate-fucking. 😉

    • Bad Tom

      Graham IS relevant.
      Shockingly, he is one of the adult-like people left with an R besides his name.
      I didn’t think he had it in him.

      • Tiger Quinn

        But he’s got zero power. Which is why he’s always the last to a microphone.

      • bkmn

        I will give him this much, he at least votes in line with his rhetoric, unlike McCain who voted for every Cabinet nominee Trump proposed, no matter how unqualified and as soon as he gets on European soil starts to lambast Trump and his Cabinet.

  • Patrick

    He is going to war!

    • Bad Tom

      Donald Trump always wanted his very own war!
      And now he’s going to get it.

  • Lumpy Gaga

    “As Secretary James Mattis said while commander of U.S. Central Command,
    ‘If you don’t fully fund the State Department, then I need to buy more

    Says who?

  • ChrisMorley

    US tourism experiences a ‘Trump slump’

    Analysts estimate that President Trump has cost the US travel industry $185m in lost revenue, with significant drop in flight searches and bookings

    • Tomcat

      Trump has not lost a dime.

      • Lumpy Gaga

        All that matters.

      • ChrisMorley

        He doesn’t publish his taxes, so believe those lies at your own risk.

      • Beagle

        Are people still staying at its hotels? Or is that down, too?

        • Halou

          Because his wife and son have ‘chosen’ to stay in New York the Secret Service has been forced to rent rooms at Trump Tower in order to have agents onsite 24/7, and it’s not just individual rooms, they have rented out entire floors for safety reasons, even if some of the rooms go unused.
          All paid for at premium rates (just like at Mar-A-Lago, prices mysteriously hiked just after Trump won the election), and as an American taxpayer it is all being paid for with your money.

          This is millions of dollars of taxpayer money each year going to the man who in his infinite generosity turned down a $400,000 a year salary.

      • NancyP

        His hotels ought to be collapsing soon – every day will be off-season in Trump resorts.

    • Ninja0980

      It’s only going to get worse from here.

      • Ross

        Much, much worse.

    • BobSF_94117

      You’d think the U.S. Tourist Bureau would launch an advertising campaign:

      See America Before It Disappears Into Trumpism!!!

  • Tomcat

    The dollar has been dropping since Trump took office.
    That should tell us something.

    • Lumpy Gaga

      “Well, pick it up!”

      — DT

      • Tomcat

        Above my pay grade.

        • Bad Tom

          Above Donald’s pay grade, too.
          But Donald doesn’t know it.

    • HZ81

      Is Alfred E. Newman’s face on the $1 bill yet?

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      gonna make all those imports more expensive for the trumpanistas (and the rest of us)
      why is it the dollar always drops under a rethuglican administration?

    • JWC

      the one thing that floats trump is the stock market is doing well

  • Ninja0980

    Those folks who didn’t vote for Hillary, voted third party or stayed home because she was a “war hawk” and Trump would keep us out of war.
    Let me congratulate you on your utter stupidity.

    • Cuberly

      The biggest fights I had were with people on the far left convinced that Trump was intent on disentangling us from foreign wars. So many refused to acknowledge how that message changed as his campaign progressed.

      • Ninja0980

        They still don’t or are convinced Hillary would have been worse.
        There is no reasoning with them.

        • Cuberly

          Agreed. It gets tiresome getting lectured to about how the CIA is literally responsible for ALL wars currently in progress & that have transpired since Vietnam.

    • The_Wretched

      stuff it.

      • Ninja0980

        Not until the folks you claim we need to reach out to acknowledge their part in this instead of doing the same thing.
        If you don’t like that, feel free to block.

        • Todd20036

          Besides, it will take a united front to defeat Trump in 2020, and we won’t have that if a bunch on the left claim the democratic candidate isn’t “pure” enough

          • Ninja0980

            They are already attacking Perez and Ellison.
            It’s absurd.

        • The_Wretched

          And they will not in the face of condescension like you’re displaying. “bow down then you can play” is exactly what the right says to the Dems and the Dems say to the left. Both the Left and the Dems need to say, NO!

        • Guest

          I just wish they would acknowledge who is currently president and the amount of power he is wielding and using, rather than repeatedly acting like an abuser in a relationship with “You made me do this!” and like a venomous diva with “She was a whore!”

          The current situation is basically their plan B. Plan A was internal pressure alone. Plan B is external pressure (the current state of government in these United States), which unfortunately ignores currently aiding the large swaths of currently existent people who are currently endangered, instead hoping they will become the vanguard of the glorious revolution, whether it be party-wide or country-wide.

    • Todd20036

      Love the ones who tried to tie her to Goldman Sachs because she spoke with them.
      And Trump appoints (or tried to appoint) several of them to his cabinet.

  • HZ81

    Genius. Let’s give our soldiers more weapons they’re not asking for while we poison the water they drink. Guess they’ll be well-equipped to take their own lives while suffering through horrid cancers!

    • Pat

      Republicans only support soldiers when they’re fighting their wars. Once they return home, they’re as useless to them as the rest of us and they make sure they vote down every initiative for vets just to prove the point. And vets are largely R. It’s dumbfounding.

  • Blake Mason

    Shouldn’t bombing a nation be a last resort?

    • Tomcat

      Starting to think it might be the best option, bombing our own nation to save the world.

    • greenmanTN

      A spoonful of sugar makes the polonium go down, in in a most delightful way!

  • ColdCountry

    Oh, good. He’s not only fucking us harder, he’s fucking the rest of the world, too. And how about our infrastructure, Donny?? And this wall? Is that money coming out of YOUR pocket??

  • Lumpy Gaga

    And tonight he struts up the House aisle, grabbing pussies all the way.

    • Pat

      Starting with Ryan and McConnell

      • Todd20036

        Frankly, I’m ok with that.

  • greenmanTN
  • Hue-Man

    Trump inspires nuclear arms race. Australia, following the heated phone call:

    Australia’s options are limited. Michael Wesley of the Australian National University argues that, without its alliance with America, Australia would be a “totally different country”, having to spend far more on its own defence and even acquiring nuclear weapons.

    Come to think of it, Trump wants all NATO nations to spend 2% of GDP on war. Canada should do this by re-starting its nuclear program; just like the North Korea example, in order to be taken seriously. You get a nuclear weapon, you get a nuclear weapon, etc.

    • Halou

      If NATO members start paying that 2% then I suspect Trump will move the goalposts and state another crazy demand. Getting alliance members to “pay their fair share”, and I have my own opinions on this and why Trump is wrong about it, getting alliance members to pay their 2% was never Trump’s goal, actually he has set out to destroy the alliance and he is doing it with insane and offensive and irrational demands, and by inventing fake news that insults us and sows the seeds of distrust between Europe and the United States, like Last Night In Sweden.

      Once we are so divided, the country that Trump just wants to get along well with, they will swoop in and take over.

      • Edmund Allin

        Ah, well, then Europe will have to re-arm fully, to compensate for the US pulling out. 3% of EU GDP (exluding the UK) would be about $400bn, and while that is still less than the US’s spending of $600bn, Europe doesn’t have the same global commitments.

        Europe arming itself has worked out so well in the past! Is there another continent that has been at war within itself and with others so often?

      • BobSF_94117

        NATO countries don’t spend 2% on defense BUT they do seriously outspend us on development and foreign aid, which is just as, if not more, important.

  • Tomcat

    Trump is mentally disturbed and wants to be the one that ends the world.
    Keep him away from all weapons until he is tested for mental defect.

    • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

      Yes… but I’m of the opinion that President Bannon is disturbed and wants to be the one that ends the world.

      45 just gets off on being the one to get attention by announcing how Bannon plans to do it. The content of his remarks are beyond his comprehension.

      • Ross



        And, yes.

        • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

          How are you doing, by the way?

          I’ve been hoping things have gotten better for yoi.

  • Pat

    Even goddamned George W Bush sent 5 billion a year in aid to Africa to battle HIV/AIDS, malaria and other health issues. George Bush! And this pos fraud wants to buy more weapons.

  • Rex

    I’m assuming the costs of Trump’s travel to and from Florida are part of the Military budget.

    • Pat

      If only he could ride there on a missile like Major Kong.

  • JustDucky

    But but but Hillary is the one who wants WWIII!!1!1×330.jpg

    Edit: And interestingly, Jill Stein has a block of tweets (Oct 11-Oct19) missing from her account, including this one, which Joe reported she retweeted.

    • KnownDonorDad

      How did they forget “used a private email server” and “is so shrill”?

    • ultragreen

      Hillary Clinton was definitely a big war hawk. She was also friendly to fracking, just like Obama, under whom both fracking and offshore drilling surged. The above talking points from Jill Stein about Hillary Clinton were fundamentally correct.

      • JustDucky

        “More hawkish than doves (me included) prefer” =/= Wants WWIII.

        Do you really not understand the difference? Or are you just being obtuse because Jill Stein? Who, might I remind you, somehow earned herself a place at Putin’s table for a dinner honoring his propaganda network RT.

        Edit: You know what? It doesn’t even matter. There is only one question that matters when discussing this topic: do you believe we are better off with President Donald Trump than we would have been with President Hillary Clinton?

    • Chuck in NYC

      Yeah, I’m feeling so much safer knowing SCROTUS now wants to escalate the nuclear arms race. Since I remember feeling so safe about that back in the 60s.

  • Stephen Elliot Phillips

    except for israel. Theyll get their aid. gotta keep the armageddon real estate

  • Sebastian

    So Clinton was a monster for not providing extra security to Bengazi (money that the GOP in congress wouldnt provide to her), so Trump is going to slash money for security across all missions as well as diplomacy making it more dangerous as the less defended missions and he is a hero?

    • Stephen Elliot Phillips

      well her emails….

  • infmom

    That’s what incorrigible spoiled brats do when all their military training comes from the school they got shipped off to because their parents couldn’t stand their behavior anymore.

  • abqdan

    Funny that. It was the cuts in State Department spending on security that led to Benghazi… That was the Republican congress too.

  • JWC

    “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists, and will persist.” Eisenhower’s 1961 quote

  • chris james

    So besides lining the pockets of Trump’s business buddies, why do we need more weapons? It takes a war to justify all this military spending and Trump is ignorant enough to start one.

    • Halou

      Because the president needs to compensate for a small something.

      • Ross


  • Raising_Rlyeh

    Of course, cut programs at home that help people and give more guns to the military. Fuck it, we are the USSR.

  • Halou

    “Officials say a 37-percent cut would likely require reductions in staff,
    including security contractors at diplomatic missions abroad.”


  • Cucker “Dick” Tarlson

    The Bastard Is Going To Kill Us All.

  • Halou

    Russian puppets do not need a well-defined diplomatic agenda or any substantial foreign relations. All the US needs to do is pay for a liaison officer to translate instructions from Russian to English, to communicate to the “president” which NATO ally / Russian rival the American army invades next.

  • Mike C

    Police departments love surplus military weapons. And that’s what it’s all about.

    • The_Wretched

      I expect they’ll restart the militarization of the police that Obama curtailed.

  • Halou

    Will Trump’s sons be conscripted, or do they also get five deferments?

    • Friday

      They’re the *best* at tennis, being rich snots, and murdering elephants in macabre ways!

  • Natty Enquirer

    Bannon(Trump) is gearing up for war. Because that’s what will hasten the Fourth Turning and Bannon’s nascent empire.

    • Friday

      It’ll hasten the clusterfuck he thinks he will capitalize on but can’t handle, just like the rest of the fascists and Dominionists.

  • coram nobis

    And the increase probably will go for high-ticket end items, ships, tanks, planes and stuff. Probably not for parts to maintain them, and things like training and personnel will probably get short shrift as well.

    Until the latest of our world conflicts, the United States had no armaments industry. American makers of plowshares could, with time and as required, make swords as well. But now we can no longer risk emergency improvisation of national defense; we have been compelled to create a permanent armaments industry of vast proportions. Added to this, three and a half million men and women are directly engaged in the defense establishment. We annually spend on military security more than the net income of all United States corporations.

    This conjunction of an immense military establishment and a large arms industry is new in the American experience. The total influence — economic, political, even spiritual — is felt in every city, every State house, every office of the Federal government. We recognize the imperative need for this development. Yet we must not fail to comprehend its grave implications. Our toil, resources and livelihood are all involved; so is the very structure of our society.

    In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.

    We must never let the weight of this combination endanger our liberties or democratic processes. We should take nothing for granted. Only an alert and knowledgeable citizenry can compel the proper meshing of the huge industrial and military machinery of defense with our peaceful methods and goals, so that security and liberty may prosper together.
    — President Dwight Eisenhower,Jan. 1961

  • coram nobis

    War toys can be profitable. A lesson in economics from a dissatisfied customer.

    The normal profits of a business concern in the United States are six, eight, ten, and sometimes twelve percent. But war-time profits — ah! that is another matter — twenty, sixty, one hundred, three hundred, and even eighteen hundred per cent — the sky is the limit. All that traffic will bear. Uncle Sam has the money. Let’s get it.

    Of course, it isn’t put that crudely in war time. It is dressed into speeches about patriotism, love of country, and “we must all put our shoulders to the wheel,” but the profits jump and leap and skyrocket — and are safely pocketed.
    * * *
    … There was still lots of leather left. So the leather people sold your Uncle Sam hundreds of thousands of McClellan saddles for the cavalry. But there wasn’t any American cavalry overseas! Somebody had to get rid of this leather, however. Somebody had to make a profit in it — so we had a lot of McClellan saddles. And we probably have those yet.

    Also somebody had a lot of mosquito netting. They sold your Uncle Sam 20,000,000 mosquito nets for the use of the soldiers overseas. I suppose the boys were expected to put it over them as they tried to sleep in muddy trenches — one hand scratching cooties on their backs and the other making passes at scurrying rats. Well, not one of these mosquito nets ever got to France!

    Anyhow, these thoughtful manufacturers wanted to make sure that no soldier would be without his mosquito net, so 40,000,000 additional yards of mosquito netting were sold to Uncle Sam.

    There were pretty good profits in mosquito netting in those days, even if there were no mosquitoes in France. I suppose, if the war had lasted just a little longer, the enterprising mosquito netting manufacturers would have sold your Uncle Sam a couple of consignments of mosquitoes to plant in France so that more mosquito netting would be in order.

    Airplane and engine manufacturers felt they, too, should get their just profits out of this war. Why not? Everybody else was getting theirs. So $1,000,000,000 — count them if you live long enough — was spent by Uncle Sam in building airplane engines that never left the ground! Not one plane, or motor, out of the billion dollars worth ordered, ever got into a battle in France. Just the same the manufacturers made their little profit of 30, 100, or perhaps 300 per cent.
    War is a Racket, Maj. Gen. Smedley Butler, USMC (ret.), 1931

    • andrew

      It was a Republican president, WWII General and NATO Supreme Allied Commander named Eisenhower who warned us against the dangers of the Military-Industrial complex. How times have changed.

  • David Teager

    Wondering how PEPFAR is going to fare in this mess…

  • Carl

    Foreign aid almost pays for itself. They buy our goods with it.

    You have to explain everything to republicans.

  • aar9n

    I am willing to bet both my balls and a bucket of doughnuts that this doesn’t include the money given to religious “charitys”

  • customartist

    This is what happens when you put a loud-mouthed cowboy in charge. It seems we would have learned our lesson the last time?

    What do you want to bet that the 37% slashing will not be of the Progressive personnel?

  • CB

    He wants all this shit so he can parade it down the street like Daddy Putin and Cousin Kim do. The world will tremble at our might.
    And continue to laugh at our third grade reading level.

  • andrew

    Apparently the Liar-In-Chief is a follower of the prophet Joel and not Micah. In the “Holy Bible,” the prophet Joel 3,10 says: Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak man say, I am a warrior!”

  • boatboy_srq

    This shows every sign of ending just as well as the cuts to the State Dept security budget prior to Benghazi (the part of that incident the GOTea steadfastly refuses to discuss, because all spending cuts are good unless they involve guns/bombs or corporate welfare).

  • Friday

    But, but, “Trickle-down’ ‘economic growth’ will pay for this spending, athat spending, and tax cuts for the rich, too! Really! Trump says so and he never screws investors, contractors and workers , except for every single damn time!”

  • ultragreen

    Trump must be really dumb. The State Dept. and Foreign Aid are both extensions of the Dept. of Defense, just like the Energy Dept. and the various intelligence agencies. He’s increasing Defense spending by decreasing Defense spending! I suppose the bureaucracy of the Dept. of Defense could quietly replace the State Dept. and Foreign Aid with its own version of the State Dept. and Foreign Aid until there is some semblance of sanity at the White House.

  • Juliet Delaney

    Here’s an idea instead of cutting these programs cute government spending first like protecting Trump’s three grown children. They can pay for their own security. QUIET GOING TO FLORIDA AND PLAYING GOLF AT 3 MILLION A TRIP+ OTHER COSTS.

  • StSean

    Alanis Morisette never saw this coming…

  • Danieruw

    Who needs diplomacy when you have big guns?

  • Gianni

    Trump couldn’t give a rat’s ass about diplomacy. “We need to win more wars!” He forgot to mention that to win MORE wars, you have to BE IN MORE wars. We need more winning efforts like the raid in Yemen that he didn’t bother consulting any of the available military experts about.

  • JCF

    Am I having an Acid Flashback?* Because the calendar says “2017”, but I SWEAR the news sounds like 1981.

    * One time! Only used 1 time! O_x