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The Budget Message of the President

February 12, 2018

To The Congress of The United States:

In one year of working together, we have laid the foundation for a new era of American Greatness. We have boosted economic growth, created more than two million jobs, and added nearly $5 trillion in new wealth to the stock market. Unemployment is at a 17-year low, wages are rising, and jobs are returning to America. Starting this month, hardworking Americans are going to see increased take home pay because of the massive tax cuts and tax reform legislation we enacted at the end of last year.

America is back to winning again. A great spirit of optimism continues to sweep across our Nation. Americans can once again be truly confident that our brightest days are ahead of us.

This year's Budget builds upon our incredible successes over the past year and rests on the following pillars of reform:

Ending Wasteful Spending. The United States is laboring under the highest level of debt held by the public since shortly after the Second World War. The current fiscal path is unsustainable, and future generations deserve better. The Budget makes the hard choices needed to stop wasteful spending, lower the national debt, and focus Government on what matters most—protecting the Nation.

Expanding Economic Growth and Opportunity. The Budget continues our efforts to grow the economy, create millions of new jobs, and raise wages. To accompany our efforts to cut spending and implement massive tax cuts and reforms for American families, workers, and businesses, we will continue to relentlessly target unnecessary regulations for elimination. We will also continue driving America toward energy dominance and making the United States a net energy exporter by 2026.

The Budget also redefines what is possible, by putting the American economy on a path to sustainable 3-percent long-term economic growth. Over the next decade, a steady rate of 3-percent economic growth will infuse trillions of additional dollars into our economy, fueling the dreams of the American people and sustaining a new era of American Greatness.

Preserving Peace Through Strength. The Budget recognizes that we confront political, economic, and military adversaries and competitors that have required us to adjust our national security strategy. Foremost, the Budget rebuilds and modernizes the military—to fulfill a core constitutional responsibility of the Federal Government. The Budget provides resources to enhance missile defense and to build the planes, tanks, warships, and cyber tools that the brave men and women who defend us need to deter aggression and, when necessary, to fight and win. Most importantly, the Budget provides funds to increase the size of our Armed Forces and to give our men and women in uniform a well-earned pay raise. The Budget recognizes that we must deftly employ all of our tools of statecraft—diplomatic, intelligence-related, military, and economic—to compete and advance American influence. A world that supports American interests and reflects our values makes America more secure and prosperous.

Building the Wall, Dismantling Transnational Criminal Organizations, and Enforcing Our Immigration Laws. The Budget reflects my Administration's serious and ongoing commitment to fully secure our border, take the fight to criminal gangs like MS-13, and make our immigration system work for Americans. The Budget provides funding for a wall on our Southwest border and additional resources for law enforcement at the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice. The Budget also funds an increase in the number of Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers, Border Patrol agents, and immigration judges to improve enforcement at the border and within the United States.

Rebuilding our Infrastructure. World-class infrastructure is possible for the American people. Together we will build stunning new bridges, railways, waterways, tunnels, water treatment facilities, and highways. The Budget reflects a new vision for American infrastructure that would generate $1 trillion in infrastructure investment and speed its delivery to the American people.

Supporting American Working Families. Due to changes in family structures, labor force composition, and participation rates, the demands on American families have never been more complex or expensive to address. In addition to the middle income tax relief achieved with the passage of tax reform, the Budget reflects the importance of investing in American working families by making paid family leave available to new parents, investing in effective approaches to skills training like formal apprenticeships, and maintaining Federal funding and leveraging additional State dollars for programs that help America's working families access and afford child care. With these strategic investments, the Budget empowers Americans to thrive in our modern economy.

Protecting Our Veterans. The Budget fulfills our promise and obligation to care for our veterans and their families—men and women who answered our Nation's call for help and sacrificed so much to defend us. Our veterans have earned nothing less than the absolute best care and benefits after their service has ended, and the Budget provides the funding necessary to treat them with the honor and respect they deserve. It is our Nation's duty to ensure veterans have access to the medical treatment they need, when they need it—and that they have a choice when it comes to their care. The Budget also ensures that veterans receive training and support to re-enter the workforce and find well-paying jobs.

Combatting Opioid Addiction. More Americans died from drug overdoses in 2016 than those who lost their lives in the Vietnam War. Opioids caused the overwhelming majority of these deaths, which is why my Administration has declared a nationwide Public Health Emergency with respect to opioids. The Budget reflects a solemn and unshakable commitment to liberate communities from the scourge of opioids and drug addiction.

Fighting High Medical Drug Prices. Many patients face illness that could be cured or managed with the right medical drugs. But the prices for the drugs they need are often exorbitant. Unnecessarily high drug prices force many patients to choose between going without the medicines they need or making tremendous financial sacrifices. In addition, taxpayers all too often are left to pay inflated prices for drugs for patients who obtain them through Government programs. The Budget proposes new strategies to address high drug prices and increase access to drugs by addressing perverse payment incentives and exposing drug companies to more aggressive competition, all while continuing to promote innovation and extend American dominance in the pharmaceutical field.

Moving from Welfare to Work. Millions of our fellow Americans have been robbed of the dignity and independence that comes through the opportunity to work. Despite significant economic improvements and a strong recovery in the job market, enrollment in welfare programs remains stubbornly high in many places around the Nation. Millions of Americans are in a tragic state of dependency on a welfare system that does not reward work, and in many cases, pays people not to work. These programs, expanded during the previous administration, must now be reformed. While moving able-bodied Americans back into the workforce, welfare reform must also protect public resources for the truly needy, especially the low-income elderly, children, and Americans with disabilities. The Budget includes sensible reforms to problems in our current welfare system, and aims to end debilitating dependency while ensuring that our safety net is reserved for those Americans who truly need help.

More Pathways to Affordable Education and Well-Paying Jobs. The Budget takes important steps to expand opportunities for Americans to access affordable, employment-relevant education that puts them on the path to a well-paying job and, ultimately, a fulfilling career. The Budget promotes formal apprenticeships, an evidence-based system that allows individuals to "earn-while they learn." The Budget also makes important investments in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) education in K-12 schools, and supports career and technical education in high schools and postsecondary institutions.

Promoting School Choice. So many of America's poorest children—especially African-American and Hispanic children—attend failing public schools that afford them little hope of fulfilling their great potential. That is why families should be free to choose the public, private, charter, magnet, religious, or home school option that is right for them. The Budget empowers parents, especially of our disadvantaged youth, to choose the very best school for their children.

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The Budget reflects our commitment to the safety, prosperity, and security of the American people. The more room our economy has to grow, and the more American companies are freed from constricting over-regulation, the stronger and safer we become as a Nation.

It is now up to the Congress to act. I pledge my full cooperation in unleashing the incredible and unparalleled potential of the American people. There is no limit to the promise of America when we keep our commitments to our fellow Americans and continue to put their interests first. Working together, we will do just that.


The White House,

February 2018

Donald J. Trump, The Budget Message of the President Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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