Trump's budget highlights student loans, infrastructure, immigration
The Trump administration’s budget proposal for fiscal year 2018 hopes to lay the groundwork for a “renewal of the American spirit” through policy change and government reforms.
The budget covers various programs ranging from student loan reforms all the way to paid parental leave.
The Trump administration wants to reform the way student loans work in the country by consolidating all income-driven repayment programs into one. The administration believes consolidating the programs will simplify access to student loans.
This program would cap a student’s payments at 12.5 percent and debt for undergraduates would be forgiven after 15 years of repayment with graduate students being forgiven after 30 years of repayment.
The budget would also eliminate the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program and end subsidized loan programs through the government.
Under the proposal $200 billion dollars would be set forth in an effort to provide a $1 trillion infrastructure plan. The administration wants the remaining $800 billion to come from public and private sectors.
These funds would go towards roads, airports, ports, water systems and broadband access throughout the U.S.
The American Society of Civil Engineers’ Infrastructure Report Card, which tracks the quality of the nation's bridges, dams, roads, wastewater systems and more, graded the country’s infrastructure a D+.
The proposal also calls for a shift to air traffic controls from government oversight to a non-profit and non-governmental organization that the administration believes will help reduce taxes, government spending and tackle the demand for air traffic services.
Trump’s budget invests $2.6 billion in “high-priority tactical infrastructure” and security technology. This includes the construction of a wall along the southern border that the administration claims will “decrease the flow of people, drugs and other illicit material illegally crossing the border.”
On May 3 Press Secretary Sean Spicer shared some images of the wall that is supposed to go along the southern border of the U.S. The images differed from what President Trump described during his campaign.
Another initiative being pushed by the administration is to increase the number of border patrol agents and immigration and customs officer in 2018. The proposal would put over $300 million to recruit, hire and train 500 patrol agents and 1,000 customs officers.
An additional $1.5 billion would also be available for the detention, transportation and removal of immigrants who are in the country illegally.
A $52 billion increase for the Department of Defense resulting in a total of $639 billion dollars is also in the administration’s budget proposal.
Trump’s proposal would leave enough funds to provide for an additional 56,400 military personnel throughout the various branches of the military. The budget would also reserve funds to maintain existing equipment, update cyber security measures and produce more aircraft and battle ships.
Paid Parental Leave
The proposal calls for all states to provide six weeks of paid parental leave for mothers, fathers and adoptive parents. The funds for the program come from the Unemployment Insurance system and the plan would allow states to create paid parental leave programs that fit their economy.