President Donald Trump is expected to roll out a proposed budget Thursday, and there are a number of cuts planned to various departments to offset the $54 billion increase in defense spending he’s already publicly stated he desires. According to the Washington Post (sourcing Trump aides), among those cuts will be a 25 percent cut in the EPA’s budget, which would reduce its staff by 18 percent.
As it turns out, the Trump administration is vying for even deeper cuts than reported.
According to The Hill, The EPA and agency chief Scott Pruitt did not fight the 25 percent cut the White House proposed in its first budget draft last month, Axios reported Tuesday, and officials are now considering cutting the agency’s $8.1 billion budget even further.
Instead, the ax looks set to fall hardest on EPA’s climate change programs, with the staff there expected to leave the agency. Pruitt has repeatedly challenged the scientific consensus on human-caused climate change, saying he doesn’t believe carbon-dioxide is a major factor driving it.“[EPA employees] just have to deal with it, because this was coming,” one person told Axios. But given Pruitt’s acceptance of the rest of Trump’s budget plan, the administration is looking to cut the agency’s budget and its regulatory programs even deeper than before, according to the report.
While there’s clearly a need for an EPA, they issued over 4,000 new regulations under Obama’s administration, adding an additional $1 trillion in regulatory costs (over ten years), according to the American Action Forum.
According to the AAF’s director of regulatory policy Sam Batkins, “In other words, each year every person, regardless of age, in the nation is responsible for paying roughly $540 in regulatory costs. These burdens might take the form of higher prices, fewer jobs, or reduced wages.” That comes out to a cost of $3,080 per household.
Adjusting for inflation, Trump’s 25 percent cut to the EPA’s budget would bring back their spending to the 1970s in inflation adjusted terms.
Great – now all Trump has to do is the same thing to every other department.
[Note: This post was authored by Matt Palumbo. Follow him on Twitter @MattPalumbo12]