Trump Budget Director: "This Is A Hard Power Budget, Not A Soft Power Budget"


President Trump's first budget proposal includes a $54B increase in defense spending as well as a seven percent increase to homeland security and a bump for VA. OMB Director Mick Mulvaney discusses.

RICHARD HAASS, PRESIDENT, COUNCIL ON FOREIGN RELATIONS: I think it's bad for American national security. I think virtually every past Secretary of Defense would say if they had to give a choice between continuing the State Department accounts and putting more money into the Pentagon account, they would say we get more bang for our buck by what the State Department does around the world.

And what this will do is really hurt American support for things like fighting disease. And what that does is then we're going to be vulnerable to infectious disease. This hurts development (PH) dealing with refugees. We saw what refugee flows did to the politics of Europe. It just seems to me it has very narrow definition.

How can you justify building up Defense, cutting State and then leaving entitlements alone? Why in particular are entitlements continuing not to be cut?

MULVANEY: I'll answer the last question first. The reason that entitlements are not addressed is that this is the budget blueprint. We're doing the budget in phases this year which is not unusual during a transition year. This is just the discretionary spending part of the budget.

There will be a more full budget in May. And that will include things like tax policy, health care policy, and mandatory spending. So that's when we add revenues, we add policies. This is just the topline spending numbers.

But to your point about the tradeoffs between State and the military, make no mistake about it; this is a hard power budget, not a soft power budget. That is what the president wanted and that is what we gave him.

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